On this day in science history: 24 May

From the days of ancient technology to modern science - find out what happened on this day in the history of science.

24th May 2017
Statue of Copernicus in Warsaw, Poland © Getty

Statue of Copernicus in Warsaw, Poland © Getty

1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus dies

The man credited with publishing the theory of Heliocentrism passes away.

Copernicus was the first person to propose that the Sun is the fixed point around which the planets revolve, challenging the Geocentric model that the Earth is at the centre of the Solar System. Copernicus published his ideas in his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), shortly before his death.

2002 – The Falkirk Wheel opens

The world’s first rotating boat lift is opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Falkirk Wheel links the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde in Scotland and replaced a series of 11 locks and bridges, the height difference of lifting boats 24 metres. It remains the only rotating boat lift in the world.

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