Copernicus and the Motion of the Earth

Back in 2005, I created a planetarium show, “Copernicus and His Revolutions,” for the Cosmology and Cultures Project of the OBU Planetarium (available here).

Soon after that, as Curator of the remarkable Copernicus collection at the OU History of Science Collections, I was invited to give talks on Copernicus to various physics and astronomy programs around the country. A version of this Copernicus talk has been presented at Michigan State University (2007), Florida State University (2008), and at the Okie-Tex star party near Black Mesa (2009), among others.

Much as with similar talks on Kepler and Galileo, this talk is framed as if we were in the vaults of the Collections, turning the pages of the beautiful rare books together, in order to see what stories are evident in the works themselves. These talks introduce these astronomers through their works. They synthesize scholarship in the history of science, pitched for an interested public at about the same level as a lecture in a history of science survey class.

A searchable PDF containing the slides and script is available; bullets in the script indicate slide builds in the video.

A PDF handout contains quotations, names of people mentioned, resources for further reading, and question prompts for discussion and reflection.

This presentation is too long to watch in one session. Take breaks between any of the 10 major sections to stretch your legs and process what has been presented. The final two sections offer questions for reflection and resources for further reading.

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