Copernicus was a 15th Century and 16th Century Polish Astronomer. In 1530 Copernicus completed his seminal work written in Latin, "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" loosely translated into English that means "about revolutions of celestial (spheres/bodies)"" and published it in 1543. Copernicus recognised that the Earth rotates on its axis, also that the earth and the other planets of the Solar System orbit the sun. This is known as a Heliocentric theory.

Copernicus wasn't the first to introduce Heliocentrism, Aristarchus of Samos was the first astronomer known to Historians who introduced a heliocentric theory, Copernicus developed the theory of Aristarchus and cited Aristarchus. [1] [2] [3]

The Roman Catholic Church didn't persecute Copernicus as Galileo later was but the Roman Catholic Church banned his writings where they could.

The Church suppressed Copernican theory and its scientific truths, by threat, by house arrest, by accusations of blasphemy. But by the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th Century, truth won out, the Church retreated, begrudgingly accepting that the Biblical concept of the universe was in fact wrong. No wait!!!~ Not “wrong” wrong, ... Uh … “incorrectly interpreted” for 1500 years. Yeah, that’s it… “incorrectly interpreted.” [4]

See also