Tycho Brahe

Describe the contribution of ...Tycho ... to our understanding of the Solar System

Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman who was Imperial Astronomer to the Holy Roman Emperor. He worked with Kepler and was succeeded by him.

He was well regarded for making accurate observations and careful measurements and was known as the last great naked eye astronomer. Indeed without his observations Kepler and others would have not reached their conclusions so rapidly.

He was also known for observing a 'new' star - a supernova in Cassiopeia.

There were two ideas about the way the Solar System 'worked'. One was the geocentric view, believed for centuries, where everything moved around the Earth. The other was heliocentric where the Earth moves around the Sun.

Tycho, unlike Kepler, did not believe in a heliocentric system and attempted to combine the two models into an acceptable third form - the 'Tychonic' system which, like the geocentric view, was later proved false.

There are craters on the Moon and Mars named after him. The crater on the Moon is one of the most stunning when seen at full moon because of its bright and cast ray structure.

There is much written about Tycho's personal life which is well worth researching.



Accurate and careful star cataloguer, best known detailed observations about a supernova in Cassiopeia.

Tycho Trivia!
  • Lost part of his nose in a duel in the dark
  • Wore a false nose of silver and gold
  • Owned one percent of the entire wealth of Denmark
  • Had a court jester called Jepp who sat under the table during dinner
  • Kept a tame moose as a pet which got drunk on beer and fell down the stairs
Brahe Bonus!
  • Believed to have died after straining his bladder at a banquet by refusing to go to the toilet