Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland on February 19, 1473 to a family that was well off. As a child, he studied at the University of Krakow where he studied mathematics and astronomy. In his time, Nicolaus Copernicus faced much criticism from religious authorities because he went against their teachings. However, despite this opposition, he still managed to publish his theories about the universe.

Birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus – Torun, Poland | Source: Wikipedia

When Nicolaus graduated with his degree in canon law from Bologna University in Italy he returned home to become an administrator for his uncle Bishop Watzenrode; however this job did not last long as Bishop Watzenrode passed away only two years later due to illness leaving no heir behind. So although this wasn’t exactly what Nicolaus wanted out life path would lead him down another direction entirely: astronomy.

Schematic Diagram of Heliocentric Theory of the Solar System | Source: Wikipedia

His Published Work

In 1514 he published an early idea about a heliocentric system in which the planets follow simple circular orbits around the sun. This work, was entitled Commentariolus. In this book, Copernicus also developed the idea that planets have elliptical orbits, not circular ones as had been believed previously. It contains several key concepts that were later used by Copernicus in his mature De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. A few decades later, 1543 he published another work called “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium”, which describes his masterwork – a complete model of our solar system that is set in motion by circular movement.

Resting Place of Nicolaus Copernicus | Source: Wikimedia

He died on May 24, 1543, never knowing how much of an impact his work made on other astronomers such as Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei. Today Copernicus is remembered for creating one of the most important astronomical systems ever developed.

Poland 20 Zloty Ft. Nicolaus Copernicus | 2023 | Source: Krzysztof Wojtowicz / BanknoteNews

Currency Featuring Nicolaus Copernicus

On February 9, 2023 the National Bank of Poland is set to introduce a 20 Zloty commemorative banknote in honor of Nicolaus Copernicus’ 550th birthday (1473). There will be limited amount of 100,000 notes printed. The banknote is colored in shades of blue and green. The obverse side features a portrait of Copernicus on the right hand side. You can also see a diagram of the solar system and the NBP seal. The reverse side features various ancient coins. This isn’t the first time that banknotes have featured him. The Poland 1,000 Zlotych from 1982 features Copernicus on the obverse. As well as the coat of arms with an eagle. The reverse side features the signs of the Zodiac with the Earth and planets orbiting the Sun.

Poland 1,000 Zlotych ft. Nicolaus Copernicus | 1982 | P-146c | Source: Banknote World

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