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A model of the universe which placed the sun at its centre, with the planets orbiting around it. While there is evidence that the Ancient Greeks knew about the heliocentric nature of the cosmos, a geocentric model prevailed in Europe until the seventeenth century. In Europe, the heliocentric model was first proposed by the sixteenth century astronomer Nicolas Copernicus and was supported in the following century by Galileo Galilei’s telescopic observations.

A hand coloured diagram of the universe showing the heavens and the sun according to the Copernican system.