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Tycho Brahe

In November 1572 a new star-like object became visible close to the constellation of Cassiopeia. By careful observations the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe concluded that the object in fact is a "new star", probably, he later thought, the result of an implosion of surrounding nebular materia. Although the arrival of a new star was very astounding at a time when the science still was permeated by "the Aristotelian dogma" (i.e. the theologically supported belief that Aristotle is the perfect scientist), Tycho had the courage to publish his conclusions in 1573 in a book directly dealing with the new star, "De Nova Stella". This book became as revolutionary in its field as Copernicus' "De revolutionibus" had become in its.

His observatory Uraniburg on the island of Hven (Öresund) was founded in 1576, and here astronomical observations were made by Tycho and his many assistants under the protection of the Danish king, Fredrik II, for more than 20 years. His observations, performed with help of many sophisticated instruments but without the not yet invented telescope, undoubtedly prepared the way for Kepler and Newton, i.e. modern astronomy and physics.

"Astronomiska Sällskapet Tycho Brahe", a society open for all interested in astronomy, both professionals and amateurs, was founded in 1937 by Knut Lundmark. "The Tycho Brahe Observatory" at Oxie (Malmö), and the Swedish publication, "Populär astronomi", are valuable elements in its activities today.

The bronze bust of Tycho shown here was made by V. Bissen for the 300 years anniversary of Tycho's death, originally placed in front of "Lundagårdshuset" in Lund, but was moved in 1904 to the then existing observatory at Svanegatan. Today, it has followed the astronomers to the new astronomy house at Sölvegatan. The text on its pedestal reads


1546 14/12

1601 24/10


The last lines are a motto of Tycho, probably hinting at the idea, that one should be mild in manners but strong in reason.

På svenska

Lund Observatory, Box 43, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Visiting address: Sölvegatan 27
Phone: +46 46 22 27300, Fax: +46 46 22 24614
Publisher: Anders Johansen
Last updated: 2012 October 12

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