The Danish-born astronomer Tycho Brahe , was in charge of making the most accurate observations of the sky of his time and with them he challenged the belief that existed about how the universe was organized . And although most people may think that scientists are and were people who lacked interesting things in their life, the extravagant lifestyle and the misfortune of his death would have made him one of the wildest celebrities of today. . His work was based on the development of different astronomical instruments and on the measurement and fixation of the positions of the starswhich paved the way in research for future discoveries. His observations, which were the most accurate that could have been made before the telescope’s invention , included a comprehensive and in-depth study of the solar system and the precise positions it made of more than 777 fixed stars.
- When was he born: 12/14/1546
- Where he was born: Knutstorp Castle, Svalöv, Sweden
- When he died: 10/24/1601
- Where he died: Prague, Czech Republic
Who was Tycho Brahe?
Tycho Brahe was a Danish- born astronomer who implemented a model based on the heliocentric theory and Ptolemaic geocentrism by making a series of different observations in the sky, with which he affirmed that the universe was very organized.
Tycho Brahe biography:
The father of Tycho Brahe was privy councilor and later governor of the castle of Helsingborg . His uncle was very wealthy and had no children so he decided to kidnap Tycho at a very young age and, after his parents’ shock was overcome, he raised him in his castle in Tostrup , Scania , also financing the young man’s education. , which began with the study of law at the University of Copenhagen in 1559.
A series of natural events prompted him to move from his law studies to astronomy . The first was the total solar eclipse predicted for August 21, 1560. His math teacher helped him with the only printed astronomical book available, Ptolemy’s Almagest. Other teachers helped him build small globes, on which the positions of the stars could be traced , and compasses and crossed rods, with which he could estimate the angular separation of the stars.
The first work on astronomy that he did was in the year 1573, and it was about the birth of a nova in Cassiopeia . In 1562 Tycho’s uncle sent him to the University of Leipzig , where he studied until 1565. His first recorded observation was of a conjunction or superposition of Jupiter and Saturn . Between 1565 and 1570 he made trips throughout Europe , studying at Wittenberg, Rostock , Basel and Augsburg and acquiring mathematical and astronomical instruments, including a large quadrant. In 1571 he built a smallobservatory and it was in that place where the third and most important astronomical event in Tycho’s life. On November 11, 1572, he found a new star that was brighter than Venus and where no stars were supposed to be, in the constellation Cassiopeia . He carefully observed the new star and showed that it was beyond the Moon and therefore in the realm of fixed stars .
Tycho Brahe died in 1601 at the age of 54. While attending a banquet, Brahe had drunk excessively, but refused to go to the bathroom. This is believed to have caused his bladder to burst and led to his subsequent death.
Discoveries of Tycho Brahe:
He made observations of a supernova in 1572 which was a “star” that suddenly appeared where it had not been seen before, and was visible for approximately 18 months before disappearing. As this clearly represented a change in the sky, the prevailing opinion held that the supernova was not really a star, but a local phenomenon in the atmosphere . Tycho Brahe’s meticulous observations showed that the supernova did not change position relative to the other stars and was therefore a real star, not a local object. Brahe made careful observations of a comet in 1577 when he measured the parallax of the comet and was able to show that the comet was further away than the Moon.
His theory was alternative and was located in the middle of geocentrism and heliocentrism . The theory was based on parallax and is used in astronomy to be able to measure the distance between the Earth, the planets and the stars. For Tycho, if the earth revolves around the sun , the stars have different positions depending on the displacement . For him, the earth was at a fixed point in the universe , the sun and the moon revolve around it and the planets revolve around the sun.
Input from Tycho Brahe:
Tycho Brahe made a number of important contributions in devising how to improve the instruments that were available prior to the invention of the telescope for observing the skies. Brahe’s instruments enabled him to determine the detailed movements of the planets with greater precision than had been possible . In particular, Brahe collected extensive data on the planet Mars , which would later be crucial for Kepler in his formulation of the laws of planetary motion because it would be precise enough to show that the orbit of Mars was not acircle but an ellipse . He introduced the celestial mechanics system that placed the earth at the center of the universe.