This Sunday February 19 the world will stop to observe the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicholaus Copernicus - the Polish astronomer who stopped the Sun and moved the Earth as our Polish saying goes!
Come and join us this weekend Feb. 18 and 19th, and every day that we are open (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to explore our great PMA - do You know why? The Copernican Jubilee Year 2023 has just taken off! We will celebrate here at the PMA with highlighting our magnificent collections, among them the stain glass masterpiece of Copernicus, our world-famous Auto-portrait by Stanislaw Szukalski as Copernicus and our 1939 copy of the original 500-year-old globe from the Royal Jagiellonian University in Krakow - just to name a few!
So how did the Copernicus journey to revolutionizing world science begin? Born into a merchant family February 19, 1473, in Torun, Poland - young Nicholaus enrolled to study math and natural sciences at the Royal Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland (the first University in the world to open a Chair in mathematics and astronomy). Followed by Bologna and Padua where Copernicus studied, respectively, law and medicine, he obtained a doctorate in canon law from Ferrara University to return in 1503 as a canon. His life at this point took a turn for diplomacy, Copernicus partook in the bishop's diplomatic protocols and led talks with Polish monarchs Alexander Jagiellon and Sigismund the Old. Advanced in his epic work Commentary on the Hypothesis of Celestial Movements (later entitled On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres), Copernicus, now chancellor of the Chapter of Warmian bishops, denounced the Reformation. Settling down in Frombork, a Polish Pomeranian town which was home to the master's scientific achievements, Nicholus Copernicus focused on sky observations to confirm his heliocentric model of the solar system. In 1532, On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres, a series of 6 books is published. In this work he synthesizes observational data, providing diagrams and formulates Sun centered cosmology-thus launching modern astronomy. Copernicus also pioneered monetary principles such as the Economic Copernicus law. He died on May 24, 1543.
Right here in Chicago, courtesy of American Polonia and Dr. Alexander Rytel, we have an exact copy of the Warsaw Copernicus monument which was erected along our Lake Michigan skyline in front of America's first planetarium in 1973.
Spring is almost here, come and visit the PMA, learn about Poland's milestone contributions to world science (like the famous Polish Mathematical School)!
Again, Happy Birthday Mikolaj Kopernik and welcome everybody to the Copernicus Jubilee Year!
Photos include Self-portrait sculpture by Stanislaw Szukalski as Copernicus, 1914; Copernicus medal by Stanislaw Szukalski, pre-1937, 1939 NY World Fair collection, Copernicus lithograph by Stanislaw Szukalski, 1940; Copernicus stain glass portrait by Zygmunt Kosmicki, 1973, Poznan, design by H. Kot, 1973; and Jagiellonian Globe (replica) by H. Waldyn, 1937, Krakow.
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