Copernicus's view of the solar system, 1543.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A view of the illustration drawn by Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543), shown in his book 'On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres' published in 1543. This illustration shown is from an original edition of the book belonging to the Science Museum Library. It was the first time that anyone had protrayed the Earth in orbit around the sun - rather than showing the Earth as the centre of the known universe. This idea began a revolution in human thought and displaced mankind from the centre of the universe.