TYCHO BRAHE (/ˌtaɪkoʊ ˈbrɑːhi, ˈbrɑː, ˈbrɑːə/ , born
TYGE OTTESEN BRAHE (Danish: ); 14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601)
was a Danish nobleman 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 Life
* 1.1 Early years
* 1.2 Tycho\'s nose
* 1.3 Science and life on
* 1.3.1 Marriage to Kirsten Jørgensdatter
* 1.3.2 The 1572 supernova
* 1.3.3 Lord of
* 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
* 2.4 Subsequent developments in astronomy
* 2.5 Work in medicine, alchemy and astrology
* 3 Legacy
* 3.1 Biographies
* 3.2 Scientific legacy
* 3.3 Cultural legacy
* 4 Works (selection)
* 5 See also
* 6 Notes
* 6.1 Commentary notes
* 6.2 References
* 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,
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
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
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
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
Sweden , and as vice-admiral of the Danish fleet Jørgen Brahe
had become a national hero for having participated in the sinking of
Swedish warship Mars during the
First battle of Öland (1564) .
Shortly after Tycho's arrival in Denmark, Jørgen
Brahe was defeated
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. 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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
Øresund and funding to set up an observatory.
Tycho Brahe's large mural quadrant at
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 by 1583. Drawing of the above ground parts of Tycho
Brahe's underground observatory "Stjerneborg".
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
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
Landskrona . Apparently during dinner the elk had drunk a lot of
beer, fallen down the stairs, and died. Among the many noble visitors
Hven was James VI of Scotland who married the Danish princess Anne
. After his visit to
Hven in 1590 he wrote a poem comparing Tycho
Brahe with Apollon and
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 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
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
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
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
Rudolphine Tables . At the court in
Prague was also the
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
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
Brahe could have been murdered" and that he "most likely died
of a burst bladder". The findings were confirmed by scientists from
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 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
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 Tycho's
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, ">
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.
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
Tychonic system In this depiction of the Tychonic
system, the objects on blue orbits (the 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
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
Sun and 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 entirely.
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
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 by
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:
"hat is so absurd about having size equal to the whole ? 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) 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 the
Sun such as favoured by
Francis Bacon , for example, and the extended
Capellan model of
Riccioli with Mars also orbiting the
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
Longomontanus in 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
Rudolphine Tables containing a star catalog and
planetary tables using Tycho's measurements.
Hven island 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.
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 Uraniborg, Tycho
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 Tycho
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
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
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
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 Prague, 1603; Frankfurt, 1610)
Brahe Astronomiae Instauratae Progymnasmata (Prague,
1602/03; Frankfurt, 1610)
* Book: Tycho
December 1573 lunar eclipse
History of trigonometry
* ^ He adopted the Latinized form "Tycho Brahe" (Danish: ( listen
); sometimes written Tÿcho) at around age fifteen. The name Tycho
Tyche (Τύχη, meaning "luck" in Greek , Roman
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 form of his name, Tycho de Brahe, only appeared
much later) (Jackson (2001 :12), Šolcová (2005) ).
* ^ See entry of Tycho
* ^ 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 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. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-7661-8529-6 . unknown ISBN. 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
* ^ Thoren (1989) says: " 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 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
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.
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Brahe Died from
Pee, Not Poison".
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* ^ 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.
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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.
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Special Collections Department.
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University of Cambridge
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* ^ 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!
New York Times
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).
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Leipzig 1994, pp.
* ^ Pallon Jan: Did mercury poisoning cause the death of Tycho
Brahe? 1996, www.fixedearth.com/brahe_poisoned.htm
* ^ Gilder & Gilder 2005 .
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Johannes Kepler murder
Tycho Brahe?". History News Network. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
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Brahe to be exhumed". The Copenhagen Post. February 4,
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Prague Post. May 12, 2010. Retrieved
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Brahe \'not poisoned\', says expert".
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* ^ "Was Tycho
Brahe Poisoned? According to New Evidence, Probably
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* ^ Christianson 2000 , pp. 83.
* ^ Swerdlow 1996 , pp. 207–210.
* ^ Høg 2009 .
* ^ Rawlins 1993 , p. 12.
* ^ Wesley 1978 , pp. 42–53, table 4..
* ^ Rawlins 1993 , p. 20, n. 70.
* ^ Thoren 1989 , pp. 14–15.
* ^ Thoren 1988 .
* ^ Hetherington & Hetherington 2009 , p. 134.
* ^ Russell 1989 .
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