Tycho Brahe Essay

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Tycho Brahe is remembered for many things: his golden nose, his ignominious death, and his famous last words. All of these things have gone down in history. However, Tycho Brahe was well-known in his time as a respected and well-paid astronomer. His observations were second to none. He was unsatisfiable and meticulous in his profession, building two of the finest observatories of his time, the second because the first was not up to his own high standards. He is still regarded as one of the best naked-eye observationalists of all time (Burke-Gaffney, 153).
Tycho was born in 1546 to Otto Brahe and Beate Bille, along with a twin brother who died before baptism. He was born at his father's estate in Knutsorp in Scania, which was then a
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Indeed, he wears a prosthetic in all of his most famous portraits. (Remmert, 25) .
Tycho began to gain fame as an astronomer after reporting on a “new star” in 1572. Tycho saw a very bright star in Cassiopeia on November 11th, 1572. He fixed its position with regards to the other stars in the constellation, and continued to observe it. It began to fade in brightness early the next year, and was only as bright as Polaris within six months. He also reported on the color changes, from brilliant white to yellow to red and back to red within that same six months (Hall 274). These careful observations helped springboard his career as an astronomer, and he published his findings on “De Nova Stella” or “the New Star” in 1574.
His publication also tried to shed light on the astrological implications of this star. Tycho predicted strong cosmic influences in Scandinavia and a new order in Europe. He also implied that he knew how to better understand astrology, but made no attempts to either explain this better astrology in writing or to give any sort of temporal indication for his new order. (Christianson, “Comet 118”).
His prominent station in Danish society left him in an awkward situation. He wanted nothing more than to continue his studies of the heavens, but it was unheard of for a man of his status. He therefore spent some time giving lectures at the University of Copenhagen. His talks centered on the history of Astronomy, including that of