Hong Kong Space Museum's new exhibition to introduce renowned Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (with photos)

     This year is the 550th anniversary of the birth of the renowned Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The Hong Kong Space Museum will launch a special exhibition, "Nicolaus Copernicus: Life and Work", starting tomorrow (June 21). This exhibition, jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Hong Kong, enables visitors to look at the life and achievements of Copernicus by introducing his life stories, his work across disciplines, monuments and items in remembrance of him.

     Addressing the opening ceremony today (June 20), the Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Miss Eve Tam, said that the LCSD has been taking an active part in organising numerous museum programmes in collaboration with international partners. The "Nicolaus Copernicus: Life and Work" exhibition showcases Poland's rich cultural and scientific heritage and is a testament to the power of innovation and excellence in the realm of science. It would surely inspire young people to pursue their passions for astronomy and space science. This exhibition which introduces the life and work of Nicolaus Copernicus is not just a celebration of science and astronomy, but also an excellent example of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education which, as encouraged by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, involves the observation of nature, engagement in critical thinking, and employment of creative approaches to real-world challenges rooted in mathematics and science.

     In addition to being an astronomer, Copernicus was also a physician, diplomat, cartographer, lawyer and an economist. Geocentrism had been the mainstream idea of ancient astronomy, showcasing the Earth as the centre of the universe and all the stars, planets, the Sun and the Moon revolving around the Earth. Based on scientific theory, Copernicus wrote a manuscript 510 years ago, shaking the belief in the geocentric theory and overturning the public's conception on the universe. In 1543, he published a detailed book, "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), on "heliocentrism", which proposed the Sun as the centre of planetary motions, sparking a revolution in astronomy.

     Other officiating guests today included the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Hong Kong, Dr Aleksander Dańda, and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Science Museum, Mr Lawrence Lee.

     The exhibition, with free admission, will be staged at the foyer of the Hong Kong Space Museum (10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon) from June 21 to September 25. For details of the exhibition, please visit hk.space.museum/en/web/spm/exhibitions/special-exhibitions/copernicus.html, or call 2721 0226 for enquiries.

Ends/Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:40