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tycho brahe biography

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tycho brahe biography

danish astronomer tycho brahe made the most accurate celestial observations of his time and challenged the prevailing belief in how the universe was organized. and while most people may think of scientists as stodgy academic types, brahe's flamboyant lifestyle and ignominious death would have made some of today's wild celebrities look like choirboys. a colorful life born in denmark in 1546, brahe's parents were members of nobility. he was raised by his wealthy uncle, and attended universities in copenhagen and leipzig. though his family badgered him to study law, brahe chose instead to pursue astronomy. in 1566, 20-year-old brahe fought a fellow student in a duel over who was the better mathematician. as a result, he lost a large chunk of his nose. for the rest of his life, he donned a metal prosthetic to cover the disfigurement. a mysterious death brahe died in 1601 at the age of 54. while attending a banquet, societal customs did not allow him to excuse himself before his host. brahe had drunk excessively, but refused to leave to use the bathroom. it is thought that this caused his bladder to burst and led to his subsequent death. however, scientists who opened brahe's grave in 1901 to mark the 300th anniversary of his death claimed to find mercury in his remains, fueling rumors that the astronomer was poisoned. some even accused a jealous johannes kepler of the crime. brahe's body was exhumed again in 2010. tests on his bones and beard...