Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) –

It is curious that he should be a determined enemy of the system of Copernicus who renewed observational astronomy. Tycho Brahe born in 1546 in the bosom of a noble family of Denmark.

Tycho Brahe (Wikipedia)

From a very young age he was passionate about astronomy, who studied at the universities of Copenhagen, Leipzig and Basel. Observing the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn one night, he verified that the astronomical tables were incorrect, and decided to redo them entirely: he was 17 years old.

He devoted himself first to perfecting observation devices: he had a quadrant with a 19-foot radius and a huge globe built in Augsburg, where he lived, to record the results of his observations. When Copernicus he had resigned himself to having, in his calculations, a margin of error of almost 10 minutes, Tycho Brahe He narrowed his down to a few seconds.

He carried out his first investigations on a new star that appeared in 1572 and proved that he was a star (a supernova), which invalidated the aristotelian theory in which the star world was immutable.

Then, based on the kite visible from 1577made his first systematic observations, which enabled him to show that his comet traversed the orbits of the planets, which were no longer impassable spheres.

Thanks to the favor of the King of Denmark, Frederick II, Tycho Brahe was able to install an important observatory on an island which he called Uraniborg (the sky castle). There, with a very complete technical material and staff, he was able to dedicate himself to observation continuation of the firmament, something that no one had done before him.

Uraniborg (Wikipedia)

For 20 years he dedicated himself to making the new celestial map, with an accuracy close to the limits of the human eye. But refusing to admit the terrestrial rotation, Tycho Brahe He imagined that all the planets except Earth revolved around the Sunand that it revolved around the Earth.

The works of Uraniborg they cost a lot of money; Tired of paying debts, King Frederick’s successor was suppressing Tycho Brahe aid and pensions. Furious, the astronomer left Denmark and moved to praguewhere the emperor rudolph appointed him imperial mathematician.

It was then that he met the great Keplerand together they elaborated their catalog of stars, the Tabulae Rudolphianae.

But in 1601Leaving numerous observations unanalyzed, he mysteriously and suddenly died in full glory.


  • The Galileo Project
  • TychoBrahe.com
  • Venard, M.: The Beginnings of the Modern World, The World and its History, vols. V and VI, Argos, 1970.
  • Levinas, M.: The Images of the Universe, Economic Culture Fund, 1996.