|Copernicus (Img: Welcome)|
Nicolaus Copernicus published his work claiming that the Earth revolved around the Sun in 1543, immediately before his death. He was not the first to make that claim, but his work and that of followers led to global acceptance of the theory and is considered the origin of modern astronomy. Copernicus delayed publication for fear of skepticism, mainly within the scientific community. But unlike Galileo later, he was not persecuted by the church. In fact, some in the Catholic Church urged him to publish and spread his ideas.