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01 January 2012
Pivotal historical figure...astronomer Nicolas Copernicus was born in Torun...in 1473.
Copernicus is famous because he first placed the sun...not the earth...as the center of our universe.
And...Torun's locals have celebrated his birthplace by building 6 observatories...with 8 more planned.
"Nicolas Copernicus inspired us greatly. He was born in Torun, so we wanted to create a program that would do him justice," says an official.
"Our goal is to popularize astronomy and the sciences and not just among youngsters. When the daily courses are over, the observatory is open to the local public too," said a teacher.
Full disclosure: My late saintly mother always claimed we were related to Copernicus.
She was very proud of that ancestry.
But...who really knows if it was/is true?
Many Poles probably declare that kinship.
Since I can't read or speak Polish...despite some tepid attempts to learn it...and all contacts with Poland ended when she died...I can't research it.
One fact I do know...I have shown little aptitude for math or science.