His astronomical model put the sun at the center of the universe, a radical notion
Google is running a doodle celebrating the birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who created the heliocentric model of the universe that sparked a revolution in astronomy and science in general in the 16th century.While his was not the first heliocentric model, it was the first to offer a solid mathematical model and the first to be widely accepted.
Google's doodle depicts the motions of the planets and the moon around the sun as described in Copernicus' "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium," which was published in the last year of his life.
He had been working on his theory of heliocentrism for years before finally publishing his work, his ideas were widely known in the intellectual and clerical circles well before the book was published.
Copernicus was a true Renaissance man, he was a mathematician and astronomer, he had a doctorate in law, he was a diplomat, economist and held a position in the Catholic church.