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Science in Seconds - Tyco Brahe

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Science in Seconds Know Everything People of Science TYCO BRAHE Brit Trogen: You may know him for his namesake craters or web comic characters: Tycho Brahe was the Danish astronomer known for his incredible astronomical observations. But, in his day, he was equally famous for his soap opera-like life. During his life, Brahe made the most precise planetary observations in existence, over an order of magnitude better than previous measurements. As this was before the invention of the telescope, he made all his measurements with the naked eye using an enormous instrument called the mural quadrant, which measure the angle of the star from the meridian, along with the sidereal time of observation. But at 20, Brahe became known for another bizarre feat: a duel with a fellow nobleman in which he lost his nose. He would spend the rest of his life wearing replacement noses of copper, silver or gold attached to paste. But having a nose of gold did not stop him from achieving success: in 1572, he observed a distant supernova, which prompted him to rethink the current view of an unchanging universe and write the critical book "De stella nova", "The New Star". This won him the favor of the king of Denmark, who naturally, gave him an island on which to build a castle and a humongous observatory. Tycho struggled to form his data into a cohesive model of the universe, ultimately dying unsuccessful in 1601. But the drama doesn't stop there. His cause of death, following a large banquet, was first believed to be over indulgence or perhaps a bladder infection, but the analysis of his mustache hairs, in 1991, revealed that Brahe absorbed a large dose of mercury several hours before his death, and may in fact have been poisoned. One possible suspect? Brilliant theoretician Johannes Kepler. Brahe had long viewed Kepler as an intellectual rival, withholding the bulk of his data from him, and the two quarreled repeatedly. After Brahe's death, Kepler gained access to these crucial data, bringing about a complete reformation of astronomy by abandoning models of circular orbits in favor of elliptical. Kepler, possible evil genius, and the perfect ending to Tycho Brahe's extraordinary life. Licensed for educational/non-profit purposes only. (Translators are welcome to put their name here)

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 39 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Science in Seconds
Director: Science in Seconds
Views: 128
Posted by: tradottiinitaliano on Dec 19, 2011

Kidnapped by his uncle at the age of 2; cataloguer of all the planets and over 1000 stars in the pre-telescope age... Tycho Brahe was a pretty interesting fellow! Follow his life in this special Science in Seconds segment: People of Science!

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