Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

Sierra Club


I conclude, therefore, that this star is not some kind of comet or a fiery meteor. . . but that it is a star shining in the firmament itself one that has never previously been seen before our time, in any age since the beginning of the world.


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Tycho Brahe was born on 14 December 1546 in Skane, then in Denmark, now in Sweden. He attended the universities of Copenhagen and Leipzig. In a duel with another student, in Wittenberg in 1566, Tycho lost part of his nose. For the rest of his life he wore a metal insert over the missing part. In 1572 Tycho observed the new star in Cassiopeia and published a brief tract about it the following year. He became convinced that the improvement of astronomy hinged on accurate observations. After another tour of Germany, where he visited astronomers, Tycho accepted an offer from the King Frederick II to fund an observatory. He was given the little island of Hven in the Sont near Copenhagen, and there he built his observatory, Uraniburg, which became the finest observatory in Europe. [Adapted from Galileo Project]

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