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NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
Poland (1473 - 1543)
Nicolaus Copernicus was the first astronomer to formulate a scientifically based heliocentric cosmology that displaced the Earth from the center of the universe. His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the Scientific Revolution.
 

Enjoy these insightful and educational video clips drawn from over 70 hours of interviews with the world's leading figures in astronomy, shot during the filming of 400 Years of the Telescope.

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Steven Beckwith

Servicing the Hubble in the 1990s
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

In some sense the money was a problem, because people like to do new things, Hubble is this old thing – yes, it’s old but nothing wrong with it – still the best thing in astronomy, still that way, and it’s going to get better.

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Steven Beckwith

The evolution of 20th century astronomical thought
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

We thought, people thought, that galaxies as we see them, these fuzzy things, were probably always like that. As they emerged from the soup after the Big Bang, they were large extended things.

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Steven Beckwith

Hubble clarifies theory
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Hubble’s big impact in many areas is being able to demonstrate unequivocally that we understand what’s going on whereas prior to Hubble we only had an inkling. That I think by itself, the totality of that understanding, makes it one of the greatest instruments ever.

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Steven Beckwith

The birth of the space telescope
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Now the politics of the space telescope are a little more intricate than the politics of some other things, because in addition to convincing the government that you want to finance it, you really have to have the astronomical community – however that’s defined – broadly behind the program.

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Steven Beckwith

Repairing and enhancing the Hubble telescope
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

NASA, to their credit, is a very can-do agency. NASA and the people associated with the Space Program are just extraordinary individuals, and so NASA decided pretty quickly that they had to do something, they had to rescue the Hubble.

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