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In the 16th century, Nicolás Copernicus published a model of the Universe in which the Sun (and not the Earth) was at the center. The previous hypotheses were maintained since the second century, when Ptolemy had proposed a geocentric model that was used by astronomers and religious thinkers for many centuries.
Copernicus raised and discussed the heliocentric model in his work "De revolutionibus orbium caelestium" that was published just before his death in 1543.
Copernicus's theory established that the Earth revolved around itself once a day, and that once a year it made a complete turn around the Sun. In addition, it affirmed that the Earth, in its rotational motion, bent over its axis (as a top).
However, it still maintained some principles of ancient cosmology, such as the idea of the spheres within which the planets and the outer sphere where the stars were motionless.
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