Copernican principle


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Copernican principle

[kə′pər·nə·kən ¦prin·sə·pəl]
(astronomy)
The idea that the earth occupies a typical or unexceptional position in the universe.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Copernican principle is an irreducible philosophical assumption, one whose implications go well beyond cosmology.
Yet the Copernican principle evidently has limitations.
So let us ask: what if the Copernican Principle is wrong?
Obviously, this alignment between Earth and the CMB is highly problematic, since the Copernican Principle assumes that, on the largest scales, no preferred direction or space exists in the cosmos.
"Although the Copernican principle may be widely accepted by fiat, it is imperative that such a foundational principle be proven," Caldwell and Stebbins assert in the May 16 Physical Review Letters.
Finally, the Copernican principle states, in Livio's words, that "we do not occupy a privileged place in the universe." Therefore any cosmological theory that implies that we live in a "special time" or are anything other than ordinary, is not considered beautiful.
(Gott, an astrophysicist, used Copernican principles to calculate his prediction rather than extrapolating from geopolitical developments.)
With the coming of Copernican principles (see 1543), Earth itself became a sixth, coming between Venus and Mars.