What Is the Biography of Tycho Brahe?


Quick Answer

Tycho Brahe was a 16th-century astronomer known for his flamboyant lifestyle as much as his observational skill. Brahe was born to Danish nobility in 1546. Growing up, he defied his family's wish for him to study law and took up astronomy instead.

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In 1566, the 20-year-old Brahe and a fellow student fought a duel over which of them was better at math. The other student made his case by "subtracting" most of Brahe's nose with a sword. For the rest of his life, Brahe wore a prosthetic nose made of brass. Widely considered Europe's greatest observational astronomer, Brahe's studies informed the theoretical work of Johannes Kepler, his younger collaborator and occasional rival. Brahe died at a banquet in 1601 from, it is believed, a ruptured bladder.

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