Brahe (/ˌtaɪkoʊ ˈbrɑːhi, ˈbrɑː, ˈbrɑːə/, born Tyge
Brahe (Danish: [ˈtyːə ˈʌdəsn̩ ˈbʁɑː][n 1]); 14
December 1546 – 24 October 1601) was a Danish nobleman,
astronomer, and writer known for his accurate and comprehensive
astronomical and planetary observations. He was born in the then
Danish peninsula of Scania. Well known in his lifetime as an
astronomer, astrologer and alchemist, he has been described as "the
first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion
for exact empirical facts." His observations were some five times
more accurate than the best available observations at the time.
An heir to several of Denmark's principal noble families, he received
a comprehensive education. He took an interest in astronomy and in the
creation of more accurate instruments of measurement. As an
astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical
benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of
Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic
system. His system correctly saw the
Moon as orbiting Earth, and the
planets as orbiting the Sun, but erroneously considered the
Sun to be
orbiting the Earth. Furthermore, he was the last of the major
naked-eye astronomers, working without telescopes for his
observations. In his De nova stella (On the New Star) of 1573, he
refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His
precise measurements indicated that "new stars" (stellae novae, now
known as supernovae), in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax
expected in sublunar phenomena and were therefore not tailless comets
in the atmosphere as previously believed but were above the atmosphere
and beyond the moon. Using similar measurements he showed that comets
were also not atmospheric phenomena, as previously thought, and must
pass through the supposedly immutable celestial spheres.
King Frederick II granted Tycho an estate on the island of
the funding to build Uraniborg, an early research institute, where he
built large astronomical instruments and took many careful
measurements, and later Stjerneborg, underground, when he discovered
that his instruments in
Uraniborg were not sufficiently steady. On the
island (where he behaved autocratically toward the residents) he
founded manufactories, such as a paper mill, to provide material for
printing his results. After disagreements with the new Danish king,
Christian IV, in 1597, he went into exile, and was invited by the
Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II to Prague, where he
became the official imperial astronomer. He built an observatory at
Benátky nad Jizerou. There, from 1600 until his death in 1601, he was
assisted by Johannes Kepler, who later used Tycho's astronomical data
to develop his three laws of planetary motion.
Tycho's body has been exhumed twice, in 1901 and 2010, to examine the
circumstances of his death and to identify the material from which his
artificial nose was made. The conclusion was that his death was likely
caused by a burst bladder, and not by poisoning as had been suggested,
and that the artificial nose was more likely made of brass than silver
or gold, as some had believed in his time.
1.1 Early years
1.2 Tycho's nose
1.3 Science and life on Uraniborg
1.3.1 Marriage to Kirsten Jørgensdatter
1.3.2 The 1572 supernova
1.3.3 Lord of Hven
1.3.4 Publications, correspondence and scientific disputes
1.4 Exile and later years
1.4.1 Relationship with Kepler
1.5 Illness, death, and investigations
2 Career: observing the heavens
2.1 Observational astronomy
2.2 The Tychonic cosmological model
2.3 Lunar theory
2.4 Subsequent developments in astronomy
2.5 Work in medicine, alchemy and astrology
3.2 Scientific legacy
3.3 Cultural legacy
4 Works (selection)
5 See also
6.1 Commentary notes
7 Further reading
8 External links
1586 portrait of Tycho
Brahe framed by the family shields of his noble
ancestors, by Jacques de Gheyn.
Tycho was born as heir to several of Denmark's most influential noble
families and in addition to his immediate ancestry with the
the Bille families, he also counted the Rud, Trolle, Ulfstand, and
Rosenkrantz families among his ancestors. Both of his grandfathers and
all of his great grandfathers had served as members of the Danish
king's Privy Council. His paternal grandfather and namesake Thyge
Brahe was the lord of
Tosterup Castle in
Scania and died in battle
during the 1523 Siege of Malmö during the Lutheran Reformation Wars.
His maternal grandfather Claus Bille, lord to Bohus Castle and a
second cousin of Swedish king Gustav Vasa, participated in the
Stockholm Bloodbath on the side of the Danish king against the Swedish
nobles. Tycho's father Otte Brahe, like his father a royal Privy
Councilor, married Beate Bille, who was herself a powerful figure at
the Danish court holding several royal land titles. Both parents are
buried under the floor of
Kågeröd Church, four kilometres east of
Tycho was born at his family's ancestral seat of Knutstorp Castle
(Danish: Knudstrup borg; Swedish: Knutstorps borg), about eight
kilometres north of Svalöv in then Danish Scania. He was the oldest
of 12 siblngs, 8 of whom lived to adulthood. His twin brother died
before being baptized. Tycho later wrote an ode in Latin to his dead
twin, which was printed in 1572 as his first published work. An
epitaph, originally from Knutstorp, but now on a plaque near the
church door, shows the whole family, including Tycho as a boy.
When he was only two years old Tycho was taken away to be raised by
his uncle Jørgen Thygesen
Brahe and his wife
Inger Oxe (sister to
Peder Oxe, Steward of the Realm) who were childless. It is unclear why
Otte Brahe reached this arrangement with his brother, but Tycho
was the only one of his siblings not to be raised by his mother at
Knutstorp. Instead, Tycho was raised at Jørgen Brahe's estate at
Tosterup and at
Tranekær on the island of Langeland, and later at
Næsbyhoved Castle near Odense, and later again at the Castle of
Nykøbing on the island of Falster. Tycho later wrote that Jørgen
Brahe "raised me and generously provided for me during his life until
my eighteenth year; he always treated me as his own son and made me
From ages 6 to 12, Tycho attended Latin school, probably in Nykøbing.
At age 12, on 19 April 1559, Tycho began studies at the University of
Copenhagen. There, following his uncle's wishes, he studied law, but
also studied a variety of other subjects and became interested in
astronomy. At the University,
Aristotle was a staple of scientific
theory, and Tycho likely received a thorough training in Aristotelian
physics and cosmology. He experienced the solar eclipse of 21 August
1560, and was greatly impressed by the fact that it had been
predicted, although the prediction based on current observational data
was a day off. He realized that more accurate observations would be
the key to making more exact predictions. He purchased an ephemeris
and books on astronomy, including Johannes de Sacrobosco's De sphaera
mundi, Petrus Apianus's Cosmographia seu descriptio totius orbis and
Regiomontanus's De triangulis omnimodis.
Jørgen Thygesen Brahe, however, wanted Tycho to educate himself in
order to become a civil servant, and sent him on a study tour of
Europe in early 1562. 15-year old Tycho was given as mentor the
19-year-old Anders Sørensen Vedel, whom he eventually talked into
allowing the pursuit of astronomy during the tour. Vedel and his
pupil left Copenhagen in February 1562. On March 24 they arrived in
Leipzig, where they matriculated at the Lutheran Leipzig
University. In 1563 he observed a conjunction of Jupiter and
Saturn, and noticed that the Copernican and Ptolemaic tables used to
predict the conjunction were inaccurate. This led him to realize that
progress in astronomy required systematic, rigorous observation, night
after night, using the most accurate instruments obtainable. He began
maintaining detailed journals of all his astronomical observations. In
this period he combined the study of astronomy with astrology, laying
down horoscopes for different famous personalities.
When Tycho and Vedel returned from
Leipzig in 1565
Denmark was at war
with Sweden, and as vice-admiral of the Danish fleet Jørgen
become a national hero for having participated in the sinking of the
Swedish warship Mars
Swedish warship Mars during the First battle of Öland (1564). Shortly
after Tycho's arrival in Denmark, Jørgen
Brahe was defeated in the
Action of 4 June 1565, and shortly afterwards died of a fever. Stories
have it that he contracted pneumonia after a night of drinking with
the Danish King Frederick II when the king fell into the water in a
Copenhagen canal and
Brahe jumped in after him. Brahe's possessions
passed on to his wife Inger Oxe, who considered Tycho with special
An artificial nose of the kind Tycho wore. This particular example did
not belong to Tycho.
In 1566 Tycho
Brahe left to study at the University of Rostock. Here
he studied with professors of medicine at the university's famous
medical school. Here he became interested in medical alchemy and
botanical medicine.[n 2] On 29 December 1566 Tycho lost part of his
nose in a sword duel against a fellow Danish nobleman, Manderup
Parsberg (his third cousin). Tycho had quarreled with Parsberg at a
wedding dance at Professor Lucas Bachmeister's house on 10 December,
and again on the 27th, and the two ended up resolving whatever issue
they were quarreling about with a duel. Though the two were later
reconciled, the duel (in the dark) resulted in Tycho losing the bridge
of his nose, and gaining a broad scar across his forehead. At the
university he received the best possible care, and for the rest of his
life he wore a prosthetic nose, said to be made of silver and gold,
kept in place with a paste or glue. In November 2012, Danish and Czech
researchers, after chemically analyzing a small bone sample from the
nose from the body exhumed in 2010, reported that the prosthetic was
made out of brass.
Science and life on Uraniborg
In April 1567, Tycho returned home from his travels, with a firm
intention to become a scientist. Although he had been expected to go
into politics and the law, like most of his kinsmen, and although
Denmark was still at war with Sweden, his family supported his
decision to dedicate himself to the sciences. His father wanted him to
take up law, but Tycho was allowed to travel to Rostock and then to
Augsburg (where he built a great quadrant), Basel, and Freiburg. In
1568 he was appointed a canon at the Cathedral of Roskilde, a largely
honorary position that would allow him to focus on his studies. At the
end of 1570 he was informed of his father's ill health, so he returned
to Knutstorp Castle, where his father died on 9 May 1571. The war was
over, and the Danish lords soon returned to prosperity. Soon, another
uncle, Steen Bille, helped him build an observatory and alchemical
laboratory at Herrevad Abbey.
Marriage to Kirsten Jørgensdatter
Towards the end of 1571, Tycho fell in love with Kirsten, daughter of
Jørgen Hansen, the Lutheran minister in Knudstrup. She was a
commoner, and Tycho never formally married her, since if he did he
would lose his noble privileges. However, Danish law permitted
morganatic marriage, which meant that a nobleman and a common woman
could live together openly as husband and wife for three years, and
their alliance then became a legally binding marriage. Each would
however maintain their social status, and any children they had
together would be considered commoners, with no rights to titles,
landholdings, coat of arms, or even their father's noble name.
While King Frederick respected Tycho's choice of wife, himself having
been unable to marry the woman he loved, many of Tycho's family
members disagreed, and many churchmen would continue to hold the lack
of a divinely sanctioned marriage against him. Kirsten Jørgensdatter
gave birth to their first daughter, Kirstine (named after Tycho's late
sister) on 12 October 1573. Kirstine died from the plague in
1576, and Tycho wrote a heartfelt elegy for her tombstone.
Together they had eight children, six of whom lived to adulthood. In
1574 they moved to Copenhagen where their daughter Magdalene was
born, later the family followed him into exile. Kirsten and
Tycho lived together for almost thirty years until Tycho's death.
The 1572 supernova
Star map of the constellation Cassiopeia showing the position of the
supernova of 1572 (the topmost star, labelled I); from Tycho Brahe's
De nova stella
On 11 November 1572, Tycho observed (from Herrevad Abbey) a very
bright star, now numbered SN 1572, which had unexpectedly appeared in
the constellation Cassiopeia. Because it had been maintained since
antiquity that the world beyond the Moon's orbit was eternally
unchangeable (celestial immutability was a fundamental axiom of the
Aristotelian world-view), other observers held that the phenomenon was
something in the terrestrial sphere below the Moon. However, in the
first instance Tycho observed that the object showed no daily parallax
against the background of the fixed stars. This implied it was at
least farther away than the
Moon and those planets that do show such
parallax. He also found the object did not change its position
relative to the fixed stars over several months, as all planets did in
their periodic orbital motions, even the outer planets for which no
daily parallax was detectable. This suggested it was not even a
planet, but a fixed star in the stellar sphere beyond all the planets.
In 1573 he published a small book, De nova stella[n 3] thereby coining
the term nova for a "new" star (we now classify this star as a
supernova and we know that it is 7500 light-years from Earth). This
discovery was decisive for his choice of astronomy as a profession.
Tycho was strongly critical of those who dismissed the implications of
the astronomical appearance, writing in the preface to De nova stella:
"O crassa ingenia. O caecos coeli spectatores" ("Oh thick wits. Oh
blind watchers of the sky"). The publication of his discovery made him
a well-known name among scientists across Europe.
Lord of Hven
Watercolor plan of Uraniborg
Tycho continued with his detailed observations, often assisted by his
first assistant and student, his younger sister Sophie Brahe. In 1574,
Tycho published the observations made in 1572 from his first
observatory at Herrevad Abbey. He then started lecturing on astronomy,
but gave it up and left
Denmark in spring 1575 to tour abroad. He
first visited William IV,
Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel's observatory at
Kassel, then went on to Frankfurt,
Basel and Venice, where he acted as
an agent for the Danish king, contacting artisans and craftsmen whom
the king wanted to work on his new palace at Elsinore. Upon his return
the King wished to repay Tycho's service by offering him a position
worthy of his family; he offered him a choice of lordships of
militarily and economically important estates, such as the castles of
Hammershus or Helsingborg. But Tycho was reluctant to take up a
position as a lord of the realm, preferring to focus on his science.
He wrote to his friend Johannes Pratensis, "I did not want to take
possession of any of the castles our benevolent king so graciously
offered me. I am displeased with society here, customary forms and the
whole rubbish". Tycho secretly began to plan to move to Basel,
wishing to participate in the burgeoning academic and scientific life
there. But the King heard of Tycho's plans, and desiring to keep the
distinguished scientist, he offered Tycho the island of
Øresund and funding to set up an observatory.
Tycho Brahe's large mural quadrant at Uraniborg
Hven had been property directly under the Crown, and the
50 families on the island considered themselves to be freeholding
farmers, but with Tycho Brahe's appointment as Feudal Lord of Hven
this changed. Tycho took control of agricultural planning, requiring
the peasants to cultivate twice as much as they had done before, and
he also exacted corvée labor from the peasants for the construction
of his new castle. The peasants complained about Brahe's excessive
taxation and took him to court. The court established Tycho's right to
levy taxes and labor, and the result was a contract detailing the
mutual obligations of lord and peasants on the island.
Brahe envisioned his castle
Uraniborg as a temple dedicated to the
muses of arts and sciences, rather than as a military fortress; indeed
it was named after Urania, the muse of astronomy. Construction began
in 1576 (with a laboratory for his alchemical experiments in the
Uraniborg was inspired by the Venetian architect Andrea
Palladio, and was one of the first buildings in northern Europe to
show influence from Italian renaissance architecture. When he realized
that the towers of
Uraniborg were not adequate as observatories
because of the instruments' exposure to the elements and the movement
of the building, he then constructed a second underground observatory
Stjerneborg in 1581. The basement included an alchemical
laboratory with 16 furnaces for conducting distillations and other
chemical experiments. Unusually for the time, Tycho established
Uraniborg as a research centre, where almost 100 students and artisans
worked from 1576 to 1597.
Uraniborg also contained a printing
press and a paper mill, both among the first in Scandinavia, enabling
Tycho to publish his own manuscripts, on locally made paper with his
own watermark. He created a system of ponds and canals to run the
wheels of the paper mill. Over the years he worked on Uraniborg, Tycho
was assisted by a number of students and protegés, many of whom went
on to their own careers in astronomy: among them were Christian
Sørensen Longomontanus, later one of the main proponents of the
Tychonic model and Tycho's replacement as royal Danish astronomer;
Peder Flemløse; Elias Olsen Morsing; and Cort Aslakssøn. Tycho's
instrument-maker Hans Crol also formed part of the scientific
community on the island.
Brahe's notebook with his observations of the 1577 comet.
He observed the great comet that was visible in the Northern sky from
November 1577 to January 1578. Within
Lutheranism it was commonly
believed that celestial objects like comets were powerful portents,
announcing the coming apocalypse, and in addition to Tycho's
observations several Danish amateur astronomers observed the object
and published prophesies of impending doom. He was able to determine
that the comet's distance to
Earth was much greater than the distance
of the Moon, so that the comet could not have originated in the
"earthly sphere", confirming his prior anti-Aristotelian conclusions
about the fixed nature of the sky beyond the Moon. He also realized
that the comet's tail was always pointing away from the Sun. He
calculated its diameter, mass, and the length of its tail, and
speculated about the material it was made of. At this point he had not
yet broken with Copernican theory, and observing the comet inspired
him to try to develop an alternative Copernican model in which the
Earth was immobile. The second half of his manuscript about the
comet dealt with the astrological and apocalyptic aspects of the
comet, and he rejected the prophesies of his competitors, instead
making his own predictions of dire political events in the near
future. Among his predictions was bloodshed in Moscow and the
imminent fall of
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible by 1583.[n 4]
Drawing of the above ground parts of Tycho Brahe's underground
The support that Tycho received from the Crown was substantial,
amounting to 1% of the annual total revenue at one point in the
1580s. Tycho often held large social gatherings in his castle.
Pierre Gassendi wrote that Tycho also had a tame elk (moose) and that
his mentor the
Landgrave Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel (Hesse-Cassel) asked
whether there was an animal faster than a deer. Tycho replied that
there was none, but he could send his tame elk. When Wilhelm replied
he would accept one in exchange for a horse, Tycho replied with the
sad news that the elk had just died on a visit to entertain a nobleman
at Landskrona. Apparently during dinner the elk had drunk a lot of
beer, fallen down the stairs, and died.[n 5] Among the many noble
Hven was James VI of Scotland who married the Danish
princess Anne. After his visit to
Hven in 1590 he wrote a poem
Brahe with Apollon and Phaethon.
As part of Tycho's duties to the Crown in exchange for his estate, he
fulfilled the functions of a royal astrologer. At the beginning of
each year he had to present an Almanac to the court, predicting the
influence of the stars on the political and economic prospects of the
year. And at the birth of each prince, he prepared their horoscopes,
predicting their fates. He also worked as a cartographer with his
Anders Sørensen Vedel
Anders Sørensen Vedel on mapping out all of the Danish
realm. An ally of the king and friendly with Queen Sophie (both
his mother Beate Bille and adoptive mother
Inger Oxe had been her
court maids), he secured a promise from the King that ownership of
Uraniborg would pass to his heirs.
Publications, correspondence and scientific disputes
Frontispiece to the 1610 edition of Astronomiae Instauratae
In 1588, Tycho's royal benefactor died, and a volume of Tycho's great
two-volume work Astronomiae Instauratae Progymnasmata (Introduction to
the New Astronomy) was published. The first volume, devoted to the new
star of 1572, was not ready, because the reduction of the observations
of 1572–3 involved much research to correct the stars' positions for
refraction, precession, the motion of the
Sun etc., and was not
completed in Tycho's lifetime (it was published in
Prague in 1602/03),
but the second volume, titled De Mundi Aetherei Recentioribus
Phaenomenis Liber Secundus (Second
Book About Recent Phenomena in the
Celestial World) and devoted to the comet of 1577, was printed at
Uraniborg and some copies were issued in 1588. Besides the comet
observations it included an account of Tycho's system of the
world. The third volume was intended to treat the comets of 1580
and following years in a similar manner, but it was never published,
nor even written, though a great deal of material about the comet of
1585 was put together and first published in 1845 with the
observations of this comet.
While at Uraniborg, Tycho
Brahe maintained correspondence with
scientists and astronomers across Europe. He inquired about other
astronomers' observations and shared his own technological advances to
help them achieve more accurate observations. Thus his correspondence
was crucial to his research. Often correspondence was not just private
communication between scholars, but also a way to disseminate results
and arguments and to build progress and scientific consensus. Through
Brahe was involved in several personal disputes
with critics of his theories. Prominent among them were John Craig, a
Scottish physician who was a strong believer in the authority of the
Aristotelian worldview, and
Nicolaus Reimers Baer, known as Ursus, an
astronomer at the Imperial court in Prague, whom Tycho accused of
having plagiarized his cosmological model. Craig refused to accept
Brahe's conclusion that the comet of 1577 had to be located within the
aetherial sphere rather than within the atmosphere of Earth. Craig
tried to contradict
Brahe by using his own observations of the comet,
and by questioning his methodology.
Brahe published an apologia (a
defense) of his conclusions, in which he provided additional
arguments, as well as condemning Craig's ideas in strong language for
being incompetent. Another dispute concerned the mathematician Paul
Wittich, who, after staying on
Hven in 1580, taught Count Wilhelm of
Kassel and his astronomer
Christoph Rothmann to build copies of
Brahe's instruments without permission from Brahe. In turn, Craig, who
had studied with Wittich, accused
Brahe of minimizing Wittich's role
in developing some of the trigonometric methods used by Brahe. In his
dealings with these disputes, Tycho
Brahe made sure to leverage his
support in the scientific community, by publishing and disseminating
his own answers and arguments.
Exile and later years
Denmark what is my offense? How
have I offended you my fatherland?
You may think that what I have done is wrong
But was I wrong to spread your fame abroad?
Tell me, who has done such things before?
And sung your honor to the very stars?
Excerpt of Tycho Brahe's Elegy to Dania
When Frederick died in 1588 his son and heir
Christian IV was only 11
years old. A regency council was appointed to rule for the young
prince-elect until his coronation in 1596. The head of the council
(Steward of the Realm) was Christoffer Valkendorff, who disliked Tycho
Brahe after a conflict between them, and hence Tycho's influence at
the Danish court steadily declined. Feeling that his legacy on Hven
was in peril he approached the Dowager Queen Sophie and asked her to
affirm in writing her late husband's promise to endow
Hven to Tycho's
heirs. Nonetheless, he realized that the young king was more
interested in war than in science, and was of no mind to keep his
father's promise. King
Christian IV followed a policy of curbing the
power of the nobility by confiscating their estates to minimize their
income bases, by accusing nobles of misusing their offices and of
heresies against the Lutheran church. Tycho, who was known to
sympathize with the
Philippists (followers of Philip Melanchthon), was
among the nobles who fell out of grace with the new king. The king's
unfavorable disposition towards Tycho was likely also a result of
efforts by several of his enemies at court to turn the king against
him. Tycho's enemies included, in addition to Valkendorff, the king's
doctor Peter Severinus, who also had a personal gripes with Brahe, and
several gnesio-Lutheran Bishops who suspected
Brahe of heresy — a
suspicion motivated by his known Philippist sympathies, his pursuits
in medicine and alchemy (both of which he practiced without the
church's approval) and his prohibiting the local priest on
include the exorcism in the baptismal ritual. Among the accusations
raised against Tycho
Brahe were his failure to adequately maintain the
royal chapel at Roskilde, and his harshness and exploitation of the
The straw that broke the camel's back for Tycho was when a mob of
commoners, possibly incited by his enemies at court, rioted in front
of his house in Copenhagen. Tycho
Hven in 1597, bringing
some of his instruments with him to Copenhagen, and entrusting others
to a caretaker on the island. Shortly before leaving he completed his
star catalogue giving the positions of 1000 stars. After some
unsuccessful attempts at influencing the king to let him return, he
finally acquiesced to exile, but he wrote his most famous poem Elegy
to Dania in which he chided
Denmark for not appreciating his genius.
The instruments he had used in
Stjerneborg were depicted
and described in detail in his book Astronomiae instauratae mechanica
or Instruments for the restoration of astronomy, first published
in 1598. The King sent two envoys to
Hven to describe the instruments
left behind by Brahe. Unversed in astronomy, the envoys reported to
the king that the large mechanical contraptions such as his large
quadrant and sextant were "useless and even harmful".
From 1597 to 1598, he spent a year at the castle of his friend
Heinrich Rantzau in Wandesburg outside Hamburg, and then they moved
for a while to Wittenberg, where they stayed in the former home of
In 1599 he obtained the sponsorship of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
and moved to Prague, as Imperial Court Astronomer. Tycho built a new
observatory in a castle in Benátky nad Jizerou, 50 km from
Prague, and worked there for one year. The emperor then brought him
back to Prague, where he stayed until his death. At the imperial court
even Tycho's wife and children were treated like nobility, which they
had never been at the Danish court.
Tycho received financial support from several nobles in addition to
the emperor, including Oldrich Desiderius Pruskowsky von Pruskow, to
whom he dedicated his famous Mechanica. In return for their support,
Tycho's duties included preparing astrological charts and predictions
for his patrons at events such as births, weather forecasting, and
astrological interpretations of significant astronomical events, such
as the supernova of 1572 (sometimes called Tycho's supernova) and the
Great Comet of 1577.
Relationship with Kepler
In Prague, Tycho worked closely with Johannes Kepler, his assistant.
Kepler was a convinced Copernican, and considered Tycho's model to be
mistaken, and derived from simple "inversion" of the Sun's and Earth's
positions in the Copernican model. Together the two worked on a
new star catalogue based on his own accurate positions — this
catalogue became the Rudolphine Tables. At the court in
also the mathematician
Nicolaus Reimers (Ursus), with whom Tycho had
previously corresponded, and who like Tycho had developed a
geo-heliocentric planetary model which Tycho considered to have been
plagiarized from his own. Kepler had previously spoken highly of
Ursus, but now found himself in the problematic position of being
employed by Tycho and having to defend his employer against Ursus'
accusations, even though he disagreed with both of their planetary
models. In 1600 he finished the tract Apologia pro Tychone contra
Ursum (defense of Tycho against Ursus). Kepler had great
respect for Tycho's methods and the accuracy of his observations and
considered him to be the new
Hipparchus who would provide the
foundation for a restoration of the science of astronomy.
Illness, death, and investigations
Tycho Brahe's grave in Prague, new tomb stone from 1901
Tycho suddenly contracted a bladder or kidney ailment after attending
a banquet in Prague, and died eleven days later, on 24 October 1601,
at the age of 54. According to Kepler's first-hand account, Tycho had
refused to leave the banquet to relieve himself because it would have
been a breach of etiquette. After he returned home he was no
longer able to urinate, except eventually in very small quantities and
with excruciating pain. The night before he died he suffered from a
delirium during which he was frequently heard to exclaim that he hoped
he would not seem to have lived in vain. Before dying, he urged
Kepler to finish the
Rudolphine Tables and expressed the hope that he
would do so by adopting Tycho's own planetary system, rather than that
of Copernicus. It was reported that
Brahe had written his own epitaph,
"He lived like a sage and died like a fool." A contemporary
physician attributed his death to a kidney stone, but no kidney stones
were found during an autopsy performed after his body was exhumed in
1901, and the 20th-century medical assessment is that his death is
more likely to have resulted from uremia.
The investigations in the 1990s have suggested that Tycho may not have
died from urinary problems, but instead from mercury
poisoning. It was speculated that he had been intentionally
poisoned. The two main suspects were his assistant, Johannes Kepler,
whose motives would be to gain access to Brahe's laboratory and
chemicals, and his cousin, Erik Brahe, at the order of
friend-turned-enemy Christian IV, because of rumors that Tycho had had
an affair with Christian's mother.
In February 2010 the
Prague city authorities approved a request by
Danish scientists to exhume the remains, and in November 2010 a group
of Czech and Danish scientists from Aarhus University collected bone,
hair and clothing samples for analysis. The scientists,
led by Dr Jens Vellev, analyzed Tycho's beard hair once again. The
team reported in November 2012 that not only was there not enough
mercury present to substantiate murder, but that there were no lethal
levels of any poisons present. The team's conclusion was that "it is
impossible that Tycho
Brahe could have been murdered." The
findings were confirmed by scientists from the University of Rostock
who examined a sample of Brahe's beard hairs that had been taken in
1901. Although traces of mercury were found, these were present only
in the outer scales. Therefore, mercury poisoning as the cause of
death was ruled out while the study suggests that the accumulation of
mercury may have come from the "precipitation of mercury dust from the
air during [Brahe's] long-term alchemistic activities". The hair
samples contain 20–100 times the natural concentration of gold until
2 months before his death.
Tycho is buried in the Church of Our Lady before Týn, in Old Town
Square near the
Prague Astronomical Clock.
Career: observing the heavens
Drawing of a large sextant used by Tycho Brahe
Tycho's view of science was driven by his passion for accurate
observations, and the quest for improved instruments of measurement
drove his life's work. Tycho was the last major astronomer to work
without the aid of a telescope, soon to be turned skyward by Galileo
and others. Given the limitations of the naked eye for making accurate
observations, he devoted many of his efforts to improving the accuracy
of the existing types of instrument — the sextant and the quadrant.
He designed larger versions of these instruments, which allowed him to
achieve much higher accuracy. Because of the accuracy of his
instruments he quickly realized the influence of wind and the movement
of buildings, and instead opted to mount his instruments underground
directly on the bedrock.
Tycho's observations of stellar and planetary positions were
noteworthy both for their accuracy and quantity. With an accuracy
approaching on arcminute, his celestial positions were much more
accurate than those of any predecessor or contemporary — about 5
times more accurate than the observations of the contemporary
astronomer Wilhelm of Hesse. Rawlins (1993:§B2) asserts of
Star Catalog D, "In it, Tycho achieved, on a mass scale, a
precision far beyond that of earlier catalogers. Cat D represents an
unprecedented confluence of skills: instrumental, observational, &
computational—all of which combined to enable Tycho to place most of
his hundreds of recorded stars to an accuracy of ordermag 1'!"
Drawing of a large quadrant used by Tycho Brahe.
He aspired to a level of accuracy in his estimated positions of
celestial bodies of being consistently within 1 arcminute of their
real celestial locations, and also claimed to have achieved this
level. But in fact many of the stellar positions in his star
catalogues were less accurate than that. The median errors for the
stellar positions in his final published catalog were about 1'.5,
indicating that only half of the entries were more accurate than that,
with an overall mean error in each coordinate of around 2'.
Although the stellar observations as recorded in his observational
logs were more accurate, varying from 32.3" to 48.8" for different
instruments, systematic errors of as much as 3' were introduced
into some of the stellar positions Tycho published in his star catalog
— due for instance, to his application of an erroneous ancient value
of parallax and his neglect of polestar refraction. Incorrect
transcription in the final published star catalogue, by scribes in
Brahe's employ, was the source of even larger errors, sometimes by
many degrees.[n 6]
Celestial objects observed near the horizon and above appear with a
greater altitude than the real one, due to atmospheric refraction, and
one of Tycho's most important innovations was that he worked out and
published the very first tables for the systematic correction of this
possible source of error. But as advanced as they were, they
attributed no refraction whatever above 45 degrees altitude for solar
refraction, and none for starlight above 20 degrees altitude.
To perform the huge number of multiplications needed to produce much
of his astronomical data, Tycho relied heavily on the then new
technique of prosthaphaeresis, an algorithm for approximating products
based on trigonometric identities that predated logarithms.
The Tychonic cosmological model
Main article: Tychonic system
In this depiction of the Tychonic system, the objects on blue orbits
Moon and the Sun) revolve around the Earth. The objects on orange
orbits (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) revolve around the
Sun. Around all is a sphere of fixed stars.
Although Tycho admired Copernicus and was the first to teach his
theory in Denmark, he was unable to reconcile Copernican theory with
the basic laws of Aristotelian physics, that he considered to be
foundational. He was also critical of the observational data that
Copernicus built his theory on, which he correctly considered to have
a high margin of error. Instead Tycho
Brahe proposed a
"geo-heliocentric" system in which the
Moon orbited the Earth,
while the other planets orbited the Sun. Brahe's system had many of
the same observational and computational advantages that Copernicus'
system had, and both systems also could accommodate the phases of
Venus, although Galilei had yet to discover them. His system provided
a safe position for astronomers who were dissatisfied with older
models but were reluctant to accept the heliocentrism and the Earth's
motion. It gained a considerable following after 1616 when Rome
decided officially that the heliocentric model was contrary to both
philosophy and Scripture, and could be discussed only as a
computational convenience that had no connection to fact. His
system also offered a major innovation: while both the purely
geocentric model and the heliocentric model as set forth by Copernicus
relied on the idea of transparent rotating crystalline spheres to
carry the planets in their orbits, Tycho eliminated the spheres
Kepler, as well as other Copernican astronomers, tried to persuade
Tycho to adopt the heliocentric model of the solar system. Tycho
advocated for a system with an immobile
Earth for both scientific and
religious reasons. But Tycho was not persuaded. According to Tycho,
the idea of a rotating and revolving
Earth would be "in violation not
only of all physical truth but also of the authority of Holy
Scripture, which ought to be paramount."
With respect to physics, Tycho held that the
Earth was just too
sluggish and heavy to be continuously in motion. According to the
Aristotelian physics of the time, the heavens (whose motions
and cycles were continuous and unending) were made of "Aether" or
"Quintessence"; this substance, not found on Earth, was light, strong,
unchanging, and its natural state was circular motion. By contrast,
Earth (where objects seem to have motion only when moved) and
things on it were composed of substances that were heavy and whose
natural state was rest. Accordingly, Tycho said the
Earth was a "lazy"
body that was not readily moved. Thus while Tycho
acknowledged that the daily rising and setting of the sun and stars
could be explained by the Earth's rotation, as Copernicus had said,
such a fast motion could not belong to the earth, a body very heavy
and dense and opaque, but rather belongs to the sky itself whose form
and subtle and constant matter are better suited to a perpetual
motion, however fast.
With respect to the stars, Tycho also believed that if the Earth
Sun annually there should be an observable stellar
parallax over any period of six months, during which the angular
orientation of a given star would change thanks to Earth's changing
position. (This parallax does exist, but is so small it was not
detected until 1838, when
Friedrich Bessel discovered a parallax of
0.314 arcseconds of the star 61 Cygni.) The Copernican explanation
for this lack of parallax was that the stars were such a great
Earth that Earth's orbit was almost insignificant by
comparison. However, Tycho noted that this explanation introduced
another problem: Stars as seen by the naked eye appear small, but of
some size, with more prominent stars such as
Vega appearing larger
than lesser stars such as Polaris, which in turn appear larger than
many others. Tycho had determined that a typical star measured
approximately a minute of arc in size, with more prominent ones being
two or three times as large. In writing to Christoph Rothmann, a
Copernican astronomer, Tycho used basic geometry to show that,
assuming a small parallax that just escaped detection, the distance to
the stars in the Copernican system would have to be 700 times greater
than the distance from the sun to Saturn. Moreover, the only way the
stars could be so distant and still appear the sizes they do in the
sky would be if even average stars were gigantic — at least as big
as the orbit of the Earth, and of course vastly larger than the sun.
And, Tycho said, the more prominent stars would have to be even larger
still. And what if the parallax was even smaller than anyone thought,
so the stars were yet more distant? Then they would all have to be
even larger still. Tycho said
Deduce these things geometrically if you like, and you will see how
many absurdities (not to mention others) accompany this assumption [of
the motion of the earth] by inference.
Copernicans offered a religious response to Tycho's geometry: titanic,
distant stars might seem unreasonable, but they were not, for the
Creator could make his creations that large if He wanted. In
fact, Rothmann responded to this argument of Tycho's by saying:
"[W]hat is so absurd about [an average star] having size equal to the
whole [orbit of the Earth]? What of this is contrary to divine will,
or is impossible by divine Nature, or is inadmissible by infinite
Nature? These things must be entirely demonstrated by you, if you will
wish to infer from here anything of the absurd. These things that
vulgar sorts see as absurd at first glance are not easily charged with
absurdity, for in fact divine Sapience and Majesty is far greater than
they understand. Grant the vastness of the Universe and the sizes of
the stars to be as great as you like — these will still bear no
proportion to the infinite Creator. It reckons that the greater the
king, so much greater and larger the palace befitting his majesty. So
how great a palace do you reckon is fitting to GOD?".
Religion played a role in Tycho's geocentrism also – he cited the
authority of scripture in portraying the
Earth as being at rest. He
rarely used Biblical arguments alone (to him they were a secondary
objection to the idea of Earth's motion) and over time he came to
focus on scientific arguments, but he did take Biblical arguments
Tycho's 1587 geo-heliocentric model differed from those of other
geo-heliocentric astronomers, such as Paul Wittich, Reimarus Ursus,
Helisaeus Roeslin and David Origanus, in that the orbits of Mars and
Sun intersected. This was because Tycho had come to believe the
distance of Mars from the
Earth at opposition (that is, when Mars is
on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun) was less than that of
Sun from the Earth. Tycho believed this because he came to believe
Mars had a greater daily parallax than the Sun. But in 1584 in a
letter to a fellow astronomer, Brucaeus, he had claimed that Mars had
been further than the
Sun at the opposition of 1582, because he had
observed that Mars had little or no daily parallax. He said he had
therefore rejected Copernicus's model because it predicted Mars would
be at only two-thirds the distance of the Sun. But he apparently
later changed his mind to the opinion that Mars at opposition was
indeed nearer the
Earth than the
Sun was, but apparently without any
valid observational evidence in any discernible Martian parallax.
Such intersecting Martian and solar orbits meant that there could be
no solid rotating celestial spheres, because they could not possibly
interpenetrate. Arguably this conclusion was independently supported
by the conclusion that the comet of 1577 was superlunary, because it
showed less daily parallax than the
Moon and thus must pass through
any celestial spheres in its transit.
Tycho's distinctive contributions to lunar theory include his
discovery of the variation of the Moon's longitude. This represents
the largest inequality of longitude after the equation of the center
and the evection. He also discovered librations in the inclination of
the plane of the lunar orbit, relative to the ecliptic (which is not a
constant of about 5° as had been believed before him, but fluctuates
through a range of over a quarter of a degree), and accompanying
oscillations in the longitude of the lunar node. These represent
perturbations in the Moon's ecliptic latitude. Tycho's lunar theory
doubled the number of distinct lunar inequalities, relative to those
anciently known, and reduced the discrepancies of lunar theory to
about 1/5 of their previous amounts. It was published posthumously by
Kepler in 1602, and Kepler's own derivative form appears in Kepler's
Rudolphine Tables of 1627.
Subsequent developments in astronomy
Kepler used Tycho's records of the motion of Mars to deduce laws of
planetary motion, enabling calculation of astronomical tables with
unprecedented accuracy (the Rudolphine Tables)[n 7] and providing
powerful support for a heliocentric model of the solar system.
Valentin Naboth's drawing of Martianus Capella's geo-heliocentric
astronomical model (1573)
Galileo's 1610 telescopic discovery that Venus shows a full set of
phases refuted the pure geocentric Ptolemaic model. After that it
seems 17th-century astronomy mostly converted to geo-heliocentric
planetary models that could explain these phases just as well as the
heliocentric model could, but without the latter's disadvantage of the
failure to detect any annual stellar parallax that Tycho and others
regarded as refuting it. The three main geo-heliocentric models
were the Tychonic, the Capellan with just Mercury and Venus orbiting
Sun such as favoured by Francis Bacon, for example, and the
extended Capellan model of
Riccioli with Mars also orbiting the Sun
whilst Saturn and Jupiter orbit the fixed Earth. But the Tychonic
model was probably the most popular, albeit probably in what was known
as 'the semi-Tychonic' version with a daily rotating Earth. This model
was advocated by Tycho's ex-assistant and disciple
his 1622 Astronomia Danica that was the intended completion of Tycho's
planetary model with his observational data, and which was regarded as
the canonical statement of the complete Tychonic planetary system.
Longomontanus' work was published in several editions and used by many
subsequent astronomers, and through him the
Tychonic system was
adopted by astronomers as far away as China.
Johannes Kepler published the
Rudolphine Tables containing a star
catalog and planetary tables using Tycho's measurements.
appears west uppermost on the base.
The ardent anti-heliocentric French astronomer Jean-Baptiste Morin
devised a Tychonic planetary model with elliptical orbits published in
1650 in a simplified, Tychonic version of the Rudolphine Tables.
Some acceptance of the
Tychonic system persisted through the 17th
century and in places until the early 18th century; it was supported
(after a 1633 decree about the Copernican controversy) by "a flood of
pro-Tycho literature" of Jesuit origin. Among pro-Tycho Jesuits,
Ignace Pardies declared in 1691 that it was still the commonly
accepted system, and Francesco Blanchinus reiterated that as late as
1728. Persistence of the Tychonic system, especially in Catholic
countries, has been attributed to its satisfaction of a need (relative
to Catholic doctrine) for "a safe synthesis of ancient and modern".
After 1670, even many Jesuit writers only thinly disguised their
Copernicanism. But in Germany, the Netherlands, and England, the
Tychonic system "vanished from the literature much earlier".
James Bradley's discovery of stellar aberration, published in 1729,
eventually gave direct evidence excluding the possibility of all forms
of geocentrism including Tycho's.
Stellar aberration could only be
satisfactorily explained on the basis that the
Earth is in annual
orbit around the Sun, with an orbital velocity that combines with the
finite speed of the light coming from an observed star or planet, to
affect the apparent direction of the body observed.
Work in medicine, alchemy and astrology
Brahe also worked in medicine and alchemy. He was strongly
influenced by Paracelsus, who considered the human body to be directly
influenced by celestial bodies. The paracelsian view of man as a
microcosm, and astrology as the science tying together the celestial
and bodily universes was also shared by Philip Melanchthon, and was
precisely one of the points of contention between Melanchthon and
Luther, and hence between the philippists and the
gnesio-Lutherans. For Tycho
Brahe there was a close connection
between empiricism and natural science on one hand and religion and
astrology on the other. Using his large herbal garden at
Brahe produced several recipes for herbal medicines,
using them to treat illnesses such as fever and plague. In his own
time Tycho was also famous for his contributions to medicine; his
herbal medicines were in use as late as the 1900s. The expression
Brahe days, in Scandinavian folklore, refers to a number of
"unlucky days" that were featured in many almanacs beginning in the
1700s, but which have no direct connection to Tycho
Brahe or his
work. Whether because he realized that astrology was not an
empirical science or because he feared religious repercussions Brahe
seems to have had a somewhat ambiguous relation to his own
astrological work. For example, two of his more astrological treatises
one on weather predictions and an almanac were published in the names
of his assistants, in spite of the fact that he worked on them
personally. Some scholars have argued that he lost faith in horoscope
astrology over the course of his career, and others that he
simply changed his public communication on the topic as he realized
that connections with astrology could influence the reception of his
empirical astronomical work.
Monument of Tycho
Johannes Kepler in Prague
The first biography of Tycho Brahe, which was also the first
full-length biography of any scientist, was written by Pierre Gassendi
in 1654. In 1779 Tycho de Hoffmann wrote of Brahe's life in his
history of the
Brahe family. In 1913 Dreyer published Tycho Brahe's
collected works, facilitating further research. Early modern
scholarship on Tycho
Brahe tended to see the shortcomings of his
astronomical model, painting him as a mysticist recalcitrant in
accepting the Copernican revolution, and valuing mostly his
observations which allowed Kepler to formulate his laws of planetary
movement. Especially in Danish scholarship Tycho
Brahe was depicted as
a mediocre scholar and a traitor to the nation — perhaps because of
the important role in Danish historiography of
Christian IV as a
warrior king. In the second half of the 20th century scholars
began reevaluating is significance and studies by Kristian Peder
Moesgaard, Owen Gingerich, Robert Westman, Victor E. Thoren, and John
R. Christianson focused on his contributions to science, and
demonstrated that while he admired Copernicus he was simply unable to
reconcile his basic theory of physics with the Copernican
view. Christianson's work showed the influence of Tycho's
Uraniborg as a training center for scientists who after studying with
Brahe went on to make contributions in various scientific fields.
Although Tycho's planetary model was soon discredited, his
astronomical observations were an essential contribution to the
scientific revolution. The traditional view of Tycho is that he was
primarily an empiricist who set new standards for precise and
objective measurements. This appraisal originated in Pierre
Gassendi's 1654 biography, Tychonis Brahe, equitis Dani, astronomorum
coryphaei, vita. It was furthered by Johann Dreyer's biography in
1890, which was long the most influential work on Tycho. According to
historian of science Helge Kragh, this assessment grew out of
Gassendi's opposition to
Aristotelianism and Cartesianism, and fails
to account for the diversity of Tycho's activities.
Tycho's discovery of the new star was the inspiration for Edgar Allan
Poe's poem "Al Aaraaf". In 1998, Sky &
published an article by Donald W. Olson, Marilynn S. Olson and Russell
L. Doescher arguing, in part, that Tycho's supernova was also the same
"star that's westward from the pole" in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The lunar crater Tycho is named in his honour, as is the crater
Brahe on Mars and the minor planet 1677 Tycho
Brahe in the
asteroid belt. The bright supernova, SN 1572, is also known
as Tycho's Nova and the Tycho
Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen is
also named after him, as is the palm genus Brahea.
De Mundi Aetherei Recentioribus Phaenomenis Liber Secundus (Uraniborg,
1588; Prague, 1603; Frankfurt, 1610)
Brahe Astronomiae Instauratae Progymnasmata (Prague, 1602/03;
Book: Tycho Brahe
December 1573 lunar eclipse
History of trigonometry
^ He adopted the Latinized form "Tycho Brahe" (Danish: [tyɡo
ˈbʁɑː] ( listen); sometimes written Tÿcho) at around
age fifteen. The name Tycho comes from
Tyche (Τύχη, meaning "luck"
in Greek, Roman equivalent: Fortuna), a tutelary deity of fortune and
prosperity of ancient Greek city cults. He is now generally referred
to as "Tycho," as was common in Scandinavia in his time, rather than
by his surname "Brahe" (a spurious appellative form of his name, Tycho
de Brahe, only appears much later) (Jackson (2001:12), Šolcová
^ See entry of Tycho
Brahe in Rostock Matrikelportal
^ De nova et nullius ævi memoria prius visa stella Archived
2009-02-24 at the Wayback Machine. – Photocopy of the Latin print
with a partial translation into Danish: "Om den nye og aldrig siden
Verdens begyndelse i nogen tidsalders erindring før observerede
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible died a year later than predicted by Tycho
^ Dreyer, J. L. E. (1890). Tycho Brahe: a picture of scientific
life and work in the sixteenth century. Adam and Charles Black,
Edinburgh. Wikisource. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-7661-8529-6.
"unluckily the elk one day walked up the stairs into a room, where it
drank so much strong beer, that it lost its footing when going down
the stairs again"
^ Thoren (1989) says: "[the accuracy of the 777 star catalogue C]
falls below the standards Tycho maintained for his other
activities ... the catalogue left the best qualified appraiser of
it (Tycho's eminent biographer J. L. E. Dreyer) manifestly
disappointed. Some 6% of its final 777 positions have errors in one or
both co-ordinates that can only have arisen from 'handling' problems
of one kind or another. And while the brightest stars were generally
placed with the minute-of-arc accuracy Tycho expected to achieve in
every aspect of his work, the fainter stars (for which the slits on
his sights had to be widened, and the sharpness of their alignment
reduced) were considerably less well located." (ii) Hoskin's 1999 p101
concurs with Thoren's finding "Yet although the places of the
brightest of the non-reference stars [in the 777 star catalogue] are
mostly correct to around the minute of arc that was his standard, the
fainter stars are less accurately located, and there are many errors."
(iii) The greatest max errors are given in Rawlins' 1993. They are in
descending order a 238 degrees scribal error in the right ascension of
star D723; a 36 degrees scribal error in the right ascension of D811
(p42); a 23 degrees latitude error in all 188 southern stars by virtue
of a scribal error (p42 M5); a 20 degrees scribal error in longitude
of D429; and a 13.5 degrees error in the latitude of D811.
^ According to Gingerich (1989:77) and Linton (2004:224) these tables
were some 30 times more accurate than other astronomical tables then
^ Edwin Arthur Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical
Science: A Historical and Critical Essay (1925)
^ Håkansson 2006, pp. 39–40.
^ Wittendorff 1994, p. 68.
^ a b Håkansson 2006, p. 40.
^ Bricka 1888, p. 608.
^ Dreyer 2004, p. 16.
^ Håkansson 2006, p. 45.
^ Håkansson 2006, p. 46.
^ Gannon, Megan (November 16, 2012). "Tycho
Brahe Died from Pee, Not
Poison". LiveScience. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 8–14.
^ Thoren & Christianson 1990, p. 45.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 12–14.
^ a b c d Björklund 1992.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 60.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 207.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 17–8.
^ Thoren & Christianson 1990, pp. 55–60.
^ Christianson 2000, p. 8.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 7–8, 25–27.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 28–39.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 40–43.
^ Shackelford 1993.
^ Christianson 2000, p. 247.
^ West, Mary Lou. "Physics Today August 2001". Archived from the
original on 2005-02-15.
^ Christianson 2000, p. 142.
^ a b c Christianson 1979.
^ Håkansson 2004.
^ Thoren & Christianson 1990, p. 188.
^ a b c Christianson 2000, p. 141.
^ Håkansson 2006, p. 62.
^ John Louis Emil Dreyer, Tycho Brahe: a Picture of Scientific Life
and Work in the Sixteenth Century, A. & C. Black (1890), pp.
^ Mosley 2007, p. 36.
^ Håkansson 2006, pp. 179–89.
^ Christianson 2000, p. 216.
^ Brashear, Ronald (May 1999). "Astronomiæ instauratæ mechanica by
Tycho Brahe: Introduction".
Special Collections Department.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
^ Björklund 1992, p. 33.
^ a b Håkansson 2006, p. 68.
^ Adam Mosley and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science
of the University of Cambridge. Tycho
Brahe and Astrology. 1999.
^ Jardine 2006, p. 258.
^ Gingerich 1989.
^ Jardine 2006.
^ Mosley 2007, p. 28.
^ Ferguson 2002.
^ Christianson 2000, p. 304.
^ Tierney, John (November 29, 2010). "Murder! Intrigue! Astronomers?".
New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-30. At the time of Tycho's death, in
1601, the blame fell on his failure to relieve himself while drinking
profusely at the banquet, supposedly injuring his bladder and making
him unable to urinate.
^ Thoren & Christianson 1990, pp. 468–69.
^ "Ne frustra vixisse videar!" (Dreyer, 2004, p. 309).
^ "Brahe, Tycho (1546–1601) – from Eric Weisstein's World of
Scientific Biography". Scienceworld.wolfram.com. Retrieved
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^ Kaempe, Thykier, Pedersen: "The cause of death of Tycho
1601." Proceedings of the 31st TIAFT Congress,
Contributions to Forensic Toxicology. MOLINApress,
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^ Gilder & Gilder 2005.
^ Mallia, Daniel (January 16, 2012). "Did
Johannes Kepler murder Tycho
Brahe?". History News Network. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
^ Millis, John. "The Death of Tycho Brahe". About.com. Archived from
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Retrieved May 27, 2010.
^ "Digging up Brahe". The
Prague Post. May 12, 2010. Retrieved May 27,
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23, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
^ "Astronomer Tycho
Brahe 'not poisoned', says expert".
news.bbc.co.uk. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
^ "Was Tycho
Brahe Poisoned? According to New Evidence, Probably Not".
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^ "Danish astronomer Tycho
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2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
^ Christianson 2000, pp. 83.
^ Swerdlow 1996, pp. 207–210.
^ Høg 2009.
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