Glossary term: Copernican Revolution

Description: The Copernican Revolution refers to the replacement of the geocentric (Earth-centered) model of visualizing the Solar System with a heliocentric (Sun-centered) model. The geocentric model was the consensus in European scientific views for close to two millennia, even though some believed in a heliocentric model. This shift provided a first step in the move towards a new model for the motions of planets, moons, stars, and other celestial objects in the sky that occurred over the following centuries. The geocentric model is still used for explaining concepts related to the celestial sphere. The Copernican Revolution is named after Nicolaus Copernicus, who in the 16th century described the heliocentric model in his seminal work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Although it is often claimed Immanuel Kant was the first to use the term Copernican Revolution, the accuracy of this claim is debated.

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