Tycho Brahe (14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601), born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He wasborn in Scania, then part of Denmark, now part of modern-day Sweden. Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist.
In his De nova stella (On the new star) of 1573, he refutedthe Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that "new stars" (stella novae, now known as supernovae), in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallaxexpected in sub-lunar phenomena, and were therefore not "atmospheric" tail-less comets as previously believed, but occurred above the atmosphere and moon. Using similar measurements he showed thatcomets were also not atmospheric phenomena, as previously thought, and must pass through the supposedly "immutable" celestial spheres.
As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as thegeometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system. Furthermore, he was the last of the majornaked eye astronomers, working without telescopes for his observations.
Tycho Brahe was granted an estate on the island of Hven and the funding to build the 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 the former were not sufficiently steady.Something of an autocrat on the island he nevertheless founded manufactories such as paper-making to provide material for printing his results. After disagreements with the new Danish king in 1597,he was invited by the Bohemian king and Holy Roman emperor Rudolph II to Prague, where he became the official imperial astronomer. He built the new observatory at Benátky nad Jizerou. Here, from 1600...
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