On 14th December Google celebrates the 467th Birthday of Tycho Brahe with a Doodle.
Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He was born 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 refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that new stars, (stellae novae, now known as supernovae) in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax expected in sub-lunar phenomena, and were therefore not atmospheric tailless comets as previously believed, but were above the atmosphere and moon. Using similar measurements he showed that comets 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 the geometrical 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 major naked eye astronomers, working without telescopes for his observations.
Music: Bent and Broken by Kevin MacLeod
- Tycho Brahe: birthday (motls.blogspot.com)
- A Danish icon still revered (charioteers.org)
- Reverse Shock Wave Keeps Tycho’s Supernova Bright (pbs.org)
- Lesser Known Scientists who are still more famous than me #1: Tycho Brahe (theangryphysicist.wordpress.com)
- The crazy life and crazier death of Tycho Brahe, history’s strangest astronomer (3quarksdaily.com)