The Copernican Revolution. With modesty, Copernicus displaced man from the center of the universe…
…Copernicus came from solid German merchant stock, but his uncle’s influence- Bishop Watzelrode undertook the education of his sister’s family when his brother-in-law died in 1483- ensured that he and his brother should go to the University of Cracow, founded in 1364, where the new ideas of the Renaissance were flourishing. Mathematics and astronomy, as well as classical languages and literature, were thriving, and it is tempting to assume that it was here that the young Copernicus was taught the fascination of mathematical astronomy, man’s rational organization of the tangled facts of planetary motion, first systematically attempted twenty centuries earlier, in the time of Plato.
Certainly he was deeply concerned with astronomy by 1496, when he migrated to the University of Bologna. There he took the degree of M.A. prepared for his future career by attending lectures in canon, or church law, and made his first recorded astronomical observation, to be incorporated in the future into his investigations of the motion of the moon. At Bologna Copernicus met Domenico Maria da Novara, who lectured on astronomy and taught his pupils that all was not well with that science. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…Theories of the center of the Universe in Poe’s time
As one can observe from reading Eureka, Poe makes several theories concerning the center of the universe. He first draws a distinction between the Universe of space and the Universe of stars. The universe of space is the same thing as universe proper. In addition, Poe uses Pascal’s theories and claims that the universe is a sphere that’s center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere. Pascal, himself can be seen in the top left picture. This means that there is no specific location that can be labeled as the center of the universe, and that an infinity number of points can be labeled as the start of the universe, evidenced by our illustration on the top right.
Furthermore, Poe also explains that the Universe of stars is finite and that all matter in the universe was at one point compressed into a single point. After some time, this point radiated discrete atoms in spherical waves which eventually led to the present day universe. When all of these atoms were spreading out, all the matter was supposed to be distributed uniformly. In addition, there is a simple equation to find out the number of particles in a set area of the universe: the number of particles at any radius from the center is proportional to the square of the radius. Read More:http://iron.lmc.gatech.edu/~atahler3/center.html