Who was Tycho Brahe? All you need to know (2023)

childhood and early years

Tycho Brahe was born as Tyge Ottesen Brahe on December 14, 1546 at Knutstorp Castle, eight kilometers north of Svalöv, then under Danish Scania rule but now part of Sweden. The castle was the ancestral home of the Brahes, one of the most powerful noble families in Denmark.

Tycho's father, Otte Brahe, was a wealthy and powerful nobleman who owned vast tracts of land. He served on the Rigsraadet, the Imperial Council, and later became Governor of Helsingborg Castle, which controlled the main waterways to the Baltic Sea.

Tycho's mother, Beate Clausdatter née Bille, also came from another powerful noble family. She was the daughter of Clause Bille, a member of the Norwegian and Danish Imperial Councils. She herself was a member of the royal court and became Queen Sofia's lady-in-waiting.

Tycho was born the second of his parents' twelve children and had an older sister named Lizbeth. He had a twin brother who died before baptism. Three other siblings also died before reaching adulthood. Her younger sister, Sophie Brahe, later became known for her knowledge of horticulture, astronomy, chemistry, and medicine.

At the age of two, Tycho was kidnapped by his childless uncle Jørgen Thygesen Brahe, commander of Tostrup Castle, to raise him as his son. Oddly enough, even after this incident, the family stayed together and his birth parents never tried to accept him.

The adoption was very advantageous for Tycho. While the Brahes and Billes had little interest or time for studying, Tycho's adoptive mother, Inger Oxe, came from an academic family and had a keen interest in it.

Until the age of six, Tycho lived with his adoptive parents at Castle Tostrup. Later, in 1552, the family moved to Vordingborg Castle, where Tycho began his formal education at the local cathedral school, receiving an extensive education, graduating at the age of twelve.

On April 19, 1559, at the request of his adoptive father, 12-year-old Tycho entered the Lutheran University in Copenhagen to study law. However, he also had to study various other subjects, including mathematics, philosophy, Aristotelian physics, and cosmology.

His interest turned to astronomy when he witnessed a total solar eclipse on August 21, 1560. What intrigued him most was that the event had been previously predicted. The fact that it wasn't the right time also brought down the fourteen-year-old Tycho, who he was determined to do better.

He immediately obtained a copy of the Stadius Ephemerides and began to study it. Very soon he immersed himself in the study of other books on astronomy, such as De sphaera mundi by Johannes of Sacrobosco, Cosmographia seu descriptio totius orbis by Petrus Apianus and De triangulis omnimodis by Regiomontanus.

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His interest in astronomy alarmed his adoptive parents. So in February 1562 the fifteen-year-old Tycho was removed from the University of Copenhagen and brought to the University of Leipzig, sending nineteen-year-old Anders Sørensen Vedel as tutor.

Tycho arrived in Leipzig in March 1562. Although astronomy was not part of his curriculum there, he had taken his books with him, and despite his teacher's efforts to keep him busy studying law, he secretly studied astronomy at night. .

He also saved what he could to buy books and astronomical instruments. He slowly began to make observations and keep track of them. However, it was not until he observed the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in August 1563 that he devoted himself entirely to astronomy.

He found that neither Ptolemy nor Copernicus could give the exact date and recognized that more systematic and rigorous observations were necessary to make accurate predictions. He now began to keep a detailed journal of all of his astronomical observations and began to study astronomy with Bartholomäus Schultz.

In May 1565 Tycho returned home, and his adoptive father died the following month. Since he was under eighteen; his biological parents now took care of him.

In 1566 he left his homeland again and enrolled at the University of Wittenberg on April 15. Here he studied for five months with Casper Peucer. He then enrolled at the University of Rostock on September 24, where he had part of his nose cut off in a sword duel.

In Rostock he observed a lunar eclipse on October 28, 1566, and a partial solar eclipse on April 9, 1567. Also in April, after graduating from the University of Rostock, he returned home to have an artificial nose made of brass, the which he used for the rest of his life.

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entrance to the race

Although his father wanted him to go into public service immediately, Tycho Brahe convinced him to allow him one more trip. In January 1568 Tycho returned to Rostock, and later visited Basel, Freiburg, and Augsburg.

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In Augsburg he gained a patron on whose property he built a huge quadrant. Although very accurate, it was very large and allowed only one observation per night. He also built a large celestial globe out of wood.

Tycho returned home in late 1570, and his father died in May 1571. Thereafter his maternal uncle, Steen Bille, suggested that he settle at Herrevad Abbey, which was then under his control.

With the financial help of Steen Bille, Tycho Brahe built a laboratory at Herrevad Abbey, where he invented an improved technique for making paper and soon began making the material at the nearby Klippan Mill. He later also helped set up a glassworks at the abbey.

On the night of November 11, 1572, after leaving his laboratory, Tycho noticed a new star in the constellation Cassiopeia. Unsure, he called his assistant, possibly his sister Sophia, to verify. After that he kept him under constant observation until March 1574.

Tycho soon realized that the new star was beyond the moon in the realm of the fixed stars. In 1573 he published his observation as "De nova stella" and prompted other scholars to observe it. Today, the star is known as "Tychos Supernova."

like an astronomer

The discovery of the supernova made Tycho Brahe a leading astronomer. In September 1574 he was appointed professor of astronomy at the University of Copenhagen; but it ceased the following spring when he began to receive an annual income from his father's estate.

After leaving his job, Tycho undertook a tour that visited several cities. Upon his return, King Frederick offered him control of several important states; but he refused, preferring to devote his time to the study of astronomy, finally relenting when the king offered him the island of Ven in Øresund.

In Hven, with financial help from King Frederick, Tycho built the first custom-built laboratory in Europe, dedicating the building to the muse of astronomy, Urania, and naming it Urania or Uraniborg Castle. However, he soon discovered that the tower-mounted instruments moved easily in the wind.

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In search of a more suitable location, he now built Stjerneborg, or the Castle of the Stars, on the ground floor. Working in these laboratories, surrounded by scholars, Tycho continued to observe the sky, not only making new entries but also correcting errors in previous observations.

He also kept in touch with astronomers and scientists across Europe through letters, asking them about their work and discussing his own progress. Although many of these scholars visited him in Hven, he developed enmity with a few others.

Tycho's good times ended when his mentor, King Frederick of Denmark, died in 1588. Funds were running out due to his feud with the powerful nobles surrounding the new King Christian IV. However, he remained there until 1597, completing his star catalog by giving the positions of more than 777 stars.

in exile

After leaving Hven, Tycho first moved to Copenhagen, where an angry mob surrounded his house. It is believed that they were instigated by his opponents. Concerned for the safety of his family, he moved to his friend Heinrich Rantzau's castle in Wandesburg, on the outskirts of Hamburg.

He lived in Wandesburg until 1598, and then moved to Wittenberg for a short time. Also in 1598 he published Astronomiae institutae Mechanicala (Instruments for the recovery of astronomy).

In 1599 he received the patronage of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, and moved to Prague to become an imperial mathematician and astrologer. Here he was joined by Johannes Kepler as an assistant. Later, Tycho built a new observatory in Benátky nad Jizerou and started working from there.

Tycho Brahe worked at his new observatory for only one year, after which the Emperor took him back to Prague. Here he lived until his death, working on a set of astronomical tables based on thirty years of observation by him. Later they were called Rudolf tables.

Big works

Tycho's first major work was the discovery of a new star in 1572. It is now numbered SN 1572 and is also known as Tycho's Supernova or Tycho's Nova. The discovery disproved contemporary belief that the world beyond the moon remained unchanged and established him as an astronomer.

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Tycho is also known for having determined the position of more than 777 stars as accurately as possible without the aid of the telescope, which has yet to be invented. To back up his observations, he invented various instruments that later paved the way for further inventions.

He also carried out a comprehensive study of the solar system. However, he believed that unlike other planets that revolved around the sun, the earth was static and the moon revolved around it.

Personal life and legacy

At the end of 1571, Tycho Brahe met Kirsten Jørgensdatter, the daughter of Jørgen Hansen, the Lutheran minister in Knudstrup. Since she was a commoner, they could not marry without jeopardizing their noble privileges. But since the law allowed morganatic marriage, they lived as husband and wife until her death.

They had eight children, six of whom survived to adulthood. Their surviving children were Kristen/Kristine (1573), Magdalene (1574), Elizabeth (1579), Tycho (1581), Cecilie (1582), and George (1583).

Under Danish law, his wife and children were stripped of noble status and prohibited from inheriting his property. Although King Frederick agreed to pass the Hven estate to his heirs, his successor refused to do so. At the imperial court in Prague, however, they were treated as nobles.

On October 13, 1601, Tycho had to urinate while attending a banquet at the palace of Peter Vok Ursinus Rozmberk. But he held off the pressure by leaving the table before the host was ruled to have violated etiquette.

When he got home, his condition was such that he could not relieve himself. After suffering for eleven days, he finally died on October 24, 1601. Before dying, he asked Kepler to complete Rudolf's tables with his planetary system instead of the Copernican system.

Tycho Brahe is buried in the Tyn Church in Prague's Old Town Square. In 2010, his body was exhumed and scientists now believe he may have died from a ruptured bladder.


Who was Tycho Brahe and what is he known for? ›

Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer who is best known for the astronomical observations which led Kepler to his theories of the Solar system.

Who was Tycho Brahe quizlet? ›

English mathematician and scientist who invented differential calculus and formulated the theory of universal gravitation, a theory about the nature of light, and three laws of motion.

Who is Tycho Brahe Kepler? ›

Who was Johannes Kepler? Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician astronomer, who was an assistant to Tycho Brahe. He continued Tycho's observations and used the notes of his senior to develop the laws of planetary motion.

What did Tycho Brahe discover in astronomy? ›

What's the meaning of Tycho? ›

Tycho is a masculine given name, a latinization of Greek Τύχων, from the name of Tyche (Greek: Τύχη), the Greek goddess of fortune or luck.

What was Tycho Brahe's theory called? ›

Tychonic system, scheme for the structure of the solar system put forward in 1583 by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Why is Tycho Brahe important? ›

A Danish nobleman, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), made important contributions by devising the most precise instruments available before the invention of the telescope for observing the heavens. Brahe made his observations from Uraniborg, on an island in the sound between Denmark and Sweden called Hveen.

Who is Tycho Brahe What did he see in 1572? ›

In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia. Adding fuel to the intellectual fire that Copernicus started, Tycho showed this “new star” was far beyond the Moon, and that it was possible for the universe beyond the Sun and planets to change.

Who was Brahe's most famous student * 1 point? ›

Answer: Johannes Kepler was Brahe's most famous student. Kepler is best known for defining laws regarding planetary motion, he made several other notable contributions to science.

What was Tycho Brahe's most important discovery? ›

Brahe made a career-defining discovery in 1572 when he observed a supernova and proved that the universe was not unchanging. The discovery made Brahe one of the most famous scientists in Europe.

How were Kepler and Tycho different? ›

Tycho, on the other hand, believed in a model he had invented himself, where the Sun and Moon circled the Earth, but all other planets circled the Sun. Kepler came from a background radically different from Tycho's upper-class youth; his father was a mercenary and his mother would be tried for witchcraft.

Who was Brahe and why did he and Kepler not get along? ›

While at university, he cast horoscopes for the other students, and at one point his mum was accused of being a witch. These two men could not have been more different. The pair clashed. They argued regularly, and Brahe refused to share his data with Kepler.

Why is the invention of Brahe important to the discovery? ›

Answer: While Copernicus rightly observed that the planets revolve around the Sun, it was Kepler who correctly defined their orbits. ... In an attempt to prove his theory, Brahe compiled extensive astronomical records, which Kepler eventually used to prove heliocentrism and to calculate the orbital laws.

What three things did Tycho Brahe discover? ›

Brahe showed irregularities in the Moon's orbit and discovered a new star in the Cassiopeia formation. Brahe invented many instruments such as the Tyconian Quadrant which were widely copied and led to the invention of improved observational equipment. In 1600, Tyco Brahe hired Johannes Kepler as his assistant.

Who invented telescope? ›


Is Tycho a good name? ›

Tycho: Hits the Mark

If you love a good meaning, this name delivers. It comes from Greek, and means “hitting the mark.” In the fifth century, Saint Tycho or Tychon served as Bishop of Amathus, Cyprus.

How common is the name Tycho? ›

Popularity of the name Tycho

The name Tycho is ranked #6243 overall.

Which of the following is the tychonic theory? ›

noun Astronomy. a model for planetary motion devised by Tycho Brahe in which the earth is stationary and at the center of the planetary system, the sun and moon revolve around the earth, and the other planets revolve around the sun.

Who used Tycho Brahe's data? ›

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.

How did Tycho Brahe contribute to Kepler's laws? ›

The degree of precision that he used helped Kepler accurately track the movement of the planets and predict their locations, helping him develop his theory of elliptical orbits and therefore the laws of planetary motion.

Who discovered star of 1572? ›

Tycho's Nova, also called B Cassiopeiae or SN 1572, one of the few recorded supernovas in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the “new star” on Nov. 11, 1572.

Who discovered a supernova in 1572? ›

The supernova reported by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (and many others, independently) occurred in the constellation Cassiopeia. Tycho noticed the “new” star on November 11, 1572, after which it brightened to about the magnitude of Venus (–4) and was visible during the day for about two weeks.

Where is SN 1572? ›

This area, two degrees across, is centred on the area where the famous Tycho's Supernova, also known as, SN 1572A, exploded in 1572. The region lies in the constellation of Cassiopeia in the northern sky.

What is Brahe most famous for? ›

What were Tycho Brahe's accomplishments? Tycho Brahe made accurate observations of the stars and planets. His study of the “new star” that appeared in 1572 showed that it was farther away than the Moon and was among the fixed stars, which were regarded as perfect and unchanging.

Who was the first great student of astronomy? ›

Galileo was the first great student of astronomy to realise that theideas of copernicus were true. Copernicus had declared that the. Earth is a planet like the other planets and that like them, it revolves. round the sun.

Who is the most well known astronomer? ›

Top four most famous astronomers
  • Galileo. Galileo Galilei (say that three times as fast as you can) was an Italian astronomer famous for discovering craters on the Moon, the stars of the Milky Way and is also credited with the creation of the first pendulum clock. ...
  • Isaac Newton. ...
  • Albert Einstein. ...
  • Charles Messier.
Mar 28, 2021

What did Tycho Brahe contribute to the scientific revolution? ›

Tycho was not a Copernican, but proposed a "geo-heliocentric" system in which the Sun and Moon orbited the Earth, while the other planets orbited the Sun. Although Tycho's planetary model was soon discredited, his astronomical observations were an essential contribution to the scientific revolution.

What was Tycho Brahe's contribution to science quizlet? ›

What was Tycho Brahe's greatest contribution to astronomy? He first used the telescope to make extensive astronomical observations. He determined that the planets orbit the Sun in elliptical orbits.

What are the 3 Kepler's laws? ›

Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion

They describe how (1) planets move in elliptical orbits with the Sun as a focus, (2) a planet covers the same area of space in the same amount of time no matter where it is in its orbit, and (3) a planet's orbital period is proportional to the size of its orbit (its semi-major axis).

Why did Tycho reject the heliocentric model? ›

He vehemently rejected the Copernican model because he had no sense that the earth moved and, more importantly, he could not detect parallax in his observations. He proposed a variant in which the earth is fixed, the moon and sun orbit it, and all the other planets orbit the sun.

Who came first Kepler or Galileo? ›

Galileo was born in Pisa, Italy in 1564 and he died in Florence at his house while house-arrest in 1642. Kepler was born in 1571 in a community near Stuttgart, Germany and died in 1630 during a voyage in Regensburg.

Why was Tycho Brahe reluctant to provide Kepler with all his data at once? ›

Why was Brahe reluctant to provide Kepler with all his data at one time? Brahe didn't want Kepler to discover the general rules of how the planets moved, thereby robbing Brahe of the glory.

Who invented telescope Class 7? ›

Italian scientist, Galileo invented the telescope. He made significant contributions to the field of astronomy and discovered that the Milky Way is made up of stars.

What was the first telescope called? ›

Galilean telescope

The telescope (along with the microscope, another 17th century invention) demonstrated that ordinary observers could see things that the Greek philosophers had not dreamed of. It helped shift authority in the observation of nature from men to instruments.

What made Tycho Brahe famous? ›

A Danish nobleman, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), made important contributions by devising the most precise instruments available before the invention of the telescope for observing the heavens. Brahe made his observations from Uraniborg, on an island in the sound between Denmark and Sweden called Hveen.

What are 3 things that Tycho Brahe discovered? ›

There are several things that Tycho Brahe discovered. These include the geo-heliocentric model (the Tychonic system), the supernova (very bright star), and the greater altitude of stars observed near the horizon due to refraction.

Why is the invention of Brahe important? ›

Answer: While Copernicus rightly observed that the planets revolve around the Sun, it was Kepler who correctly defined their orbits. ... In an attempt to prove his theory, Brahe compiled extensive astronomical records, which Kepler eventually used to prove heliocentrism and to calculate the orbital laws.

What did Tycho discover in 1572? ›

In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia. Adding fuel to the intellectual fire that Copernicus started, Tycho showed this “new star” was far beyond the Moon, and that it was possible for the universe beyond the Sun and planets to change.

What is the major contribution of Tycho Brahe to the field of astronomy Brainly? ›

Expert-Verified Answer

One of the major contributions of Tycho Brahe was the development of the mathematical and astronomical theories of astronomy, including an accurate system of timekeeping.

Why is the invention of Brahe important to the discovery of Kepler's law of motion? ›

Brahe believed in a model of the Universe with the Sun (rayed disk) orbiting the Earth (black dot), but the other planets (symbols) orbiting the Sun. In an attempt to prove his theory, Brahe compiled extensive astronomical records, which Kepler eventually used to prove heliocentrism and to calculate the orbital laws.


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