Copernicus' model of the Solar System, 1761.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
French print showing the Copernican System for the structure of the universe with explanatory text and a decorative border of plants and scientific instruments. The hand-coloured engraving isued in 1761 through Desnos, Paris depicts the Sun-centred model of the cosmos that the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) proposed in 1543. These ideas that ushered-in a revolution in scientific thinking, were outlined in his book, 'De Revoluionibus Orbium Celestium' (The Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres).