Copernicus

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In early historic times, astronomy only consisted of the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye. In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that may have had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops and in understanding the length of the year.
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Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye. As known civilizations developed, most notably in Egypt, Greece, Persia, India, China, Central America, and Mesopotamia, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of the Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry.
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The Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Universe, or the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy. A particularly important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the later astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations.
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Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, and he proposed a model of the Solar System where the Earth and planets rotated around the Sun, now called the heliocentric model.
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Medieval Europe housed a number of important astronomers. Richard of Wallingford made major contributions to astronomy and horology, including the invention of the first astronomical clock, the Rectangulus which allowed for the measurement of angles between planets and other astronomical bodies, as well as an equatorium called the Albion which could be used for astronomical calculations such as lunar, solar and planetary longitudes and could predict eclipses.
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During the Renaissance, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system. His work was defended by Galileo Galilei and expanded upon by Johannes Kepler. Kepler was the first to devise a system that correctly described the details of the motion of the planets around the Sun. However, Kepler did not succeed in formulating a theory behind the laws he wrote down. It was Isaac Newton, with his invention of celestial dynamics and his law of gravitation, who finally explained the motions of the planets.
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Improvements in the size and quality of the telescope led to further discoveries. The English astronomer John Flamsteed catalogued over 3000 stars, More extensive star catalogues were produced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. The astronomer William Herschel made a detailed catalog of nebulosity and clusters, and in 1781 discovered the planet Uranus, the first new planet found. During the 18–19th centuries, the study of the three-body problem by Leonhard Euler, Alexis Claude Clairaut, and Jean le Rond d’Alembert led to more accurate predictions about the motions of the Moon and planets. This work was further refined by Joseph-Louis Lagrange and Pierre Simon Laplace, allowing the masses of the planets and moons to be estimated from their perturbations. Significant advances in astronomy came about with the introduction of new technology, including the spectroscope and photography. Joseph von Fraunhofer discovered about 600 bands in the spectrum of the Sun in 1814–15, which, in 1859, Gustav Kirchhoff ascribed to the presence of different elements. Stars were proven to be similar to the Earth’s own Sun, but with a wide range of temperatures, masses, and sizes. The existence of the Earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way, as its own group of stars was only proved in the 20th century, along with the existence of “external” galaxies. The observed recession of those galaxies led to the discovery of the expansion of the Universe. Theoretical astronomy led to speculations on the existence of objects such as black holes and neutron stars, which have been used to explain such observed phenomena as quasars, pulsars, blazars, and radio galaxies. Physical cosmology made huge advances during the 20th century. In the early 1900s the model of the Big Bang theory was formulated, heavily evidenced by cosmic microwave background radiation, Hubble’s law, and the cosmological abundances of elements. Space telescopes have enabled measurements in parts of the electromagnetic spectrum normally blocked or blurred by the atmosphere. In February 2016, it was revealed that the LIGO project had detected evidence of gravitational waves in the previous September.

About Copernicus

Copernicus is a revivification of the design of Robert Granjon from the 1560s, revived as Plantin (Series 110) by Frank Hinman Pierpont for Monotype in the 1910s. The typeface is an homage to this ubiquitous workhorse, more sturdy than graceful with a wide stance, and quite different from other 16th-century type. The type was drawn as a Plantin for the 21st century, reflecting the technology and aesthetics of today. The Norwegian lutenist Rolf Lislevand's thoughts about bringing the past into the present provided guiding principles: "For years people tried to play early music as closely as possible to the way it was played at its time of origin, but that's a philosophical self-contradiction. The first question is whether it's possible at all to replicate the performance of a musician who lived centuries ago. As far as I'm concerned, reconstruction is not really interesting at all. Do we really want to act as if we hadn't heard any music between 1600 and the present day? I think that would be dishonest."

Originally released 2009.10 as Galaxie Copernicus. "Galaxie" was dropped for V2, 2013.08.

Supported Languages

Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Bosnian, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greenlandic, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Kurdish, Latin, Latvian, Leonese, Lithuanian, Lower Sorbian, Luxembourgish, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Māori, Norwegian, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, Sami, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Upper Sorbian, Walloon, Welsh

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