Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus 540th birthday marked by Google doodle

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 20 2013, 01:35am hrs
CopernicusAstronomer Nicolaus Copernicus
Renowned astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus' birthday has been put up specially as a Google doodle on the search engine's home page to mark his 540th birthday.

Nicolaus Copernicus had devised the revolutionary concept that planets revolve around the Sun.

Born on February 19, 1473 in Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus expounded the heliocentric theory that proved the Sun lies at centre of the universe. The theory put an end to the then prevalent notion that the Sun revolves around the earth his views were not welcomed by the Church and the astronomer was hounded for much of life.

Today's Google doodle showcases Sun at the centre of the universe and other planets revolving around it.

The third letter of Google's logo 'O' is represented by the sun in the doodle.

Nicolaus Copernicus work 'De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium On the revolutions of the celestial spheres' (first edition 1543 in Nuremberg) had created a controversy as not many astrologers during that time support his heliocentric theory.

"Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists," a Google webpage on doodles says.

Google celebrated India's 64th Republic Day this year by posting a doodle featuring an image of India's national animal tiger, while the iconic India Gate appeared at the lower left corner.

Netizens would recollect that a doodle recently featuring late ghazal singer Jagjit Singh greeted them on February 8. It was the search engine's way of paying tribute to the late singer on his 72nd birthday.

The latest one celebrates the victory of science over the spiritual in temporal affairs as represented by Nicolaus Copernicus.