Carnegie Mellon University

March Highlight - Dean's Choice

CopernicusEarth Moved and Sun Centered

Nicolaus Copernicus, 1473-1543.
De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Nuremberg, Petreius, 1543.

Copernicus made systematic astronomical observations for many years, basing his calculations on trigonometry. His heliocentric theory of the planetary system became the cornerstone of modern astronomy. He demonstrated how a heliocentric concept made it possible to calculate planetary positions and distances from the sun accurately and to explain the cycle of seasons, precession of equinoxes and retrograde motion of planets.

Henry Posner Sr. (1888-1976) bought the book from rare book dealer H.P. Kraus in 1955; it was one of the first important scientific titles in the Posner Collection. This copy was owned at one time by Harvard astronomy professor Robert W. Willson and retains his bookplate.

Selected by Keith Webster, Dean of the University Libraries