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Copernicanism is the idea that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. It was a departure from the ancient notion, associated with Ptolemy and supported by the Bible, that the Earth was the center of the universe. The theory is named for Nicolaus Copernicus, who popularized it in his posthumously published work De revolutionibus orbitum coelestium, or "On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies" in 1543. Because the theory diverged from official Church teaching, it was proscribed by the Catholic Church (and harshly criticized by Protestant leaders, including Martin Luther.) While flawed in its assumption that the orbits were perfectly circular, the crux of the theory was later given theoretical and observational support by Johannes Kepler and especially Galileo, who was famously forced to recant his support for a heliocentric solar system before the Inquisition.
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