Nicolaus Copernicus was a Polish mathematician and astronomer, who first postulated that the Sun, not the Earth, was at the center of the Solar system. The publication of his book, De revolutionibus oribum coelestium, in 1543 is frequently cited as the beginning date of the scientific revolution.
The name's origin is most likely from the name of the town from where Copernicus's father's family lived. Today the town is called Koperniki. At that time, people were often named for where they were from. However some believe that his name is derived from the Polish word for the dill plant "koperek" or "kopernik" that grows in that region. Copernicus does not appear in the Social Security Administration's name database. It would be an unwieldy first name, but might be usable if shorted to Nic, or used in the middle.