In 1543, in his famous book On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the prevailing view of the world. He claimed that the Earth was not the immovable centre of the world, but rather a planet orbiting the Sun. That highly controversial claim led to serious confrontations with the Church and had a wide-ranging impact on the way we now view the world.
The film tells the story of a unique revolution that began in Renaissance Europe and developed over the two centuries that followed thanks to the work of key figures like Tycho Brahe from Denmark, who made pioneering measurements of the celestial bodies; Johannes Kepler, to whom we owe the three laws that describe the elliptical orbit of the planets around the Sun; Galileo’s epoch-making observations by telescope; and Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation. The new view of the world did not gain general acceptance till long afterwards. Its supporters were fiercely opposed, persecuted and even burned at the stake, as was the case with Giordano Bruno. Even the alchemistic ideas of the time played a role in that process, which resulted in the start of the modern scientific method - something today’s scientific community is still benefiting from.
Nowadays satellites explore the outermost reaches of the solar system and astronomers use space telescopes to observe precisely what sent Giordano Bruno to the stake: planets in other solar systems many light years away - a new way to observe the universe that stemmed from Copernicus’s revolutionary ideas.