faerie nudibranch (faynudibranch) wrote in civil_war_rebel,
faerie nudibranch
faynudibranch
civil_war_rebel

Ack...I have been wanting very badly to write an entry on the Booths, but alas college essays have been taking the place of the Booths in my life...I miss reading about them. All I have to offer is a paper I just wrote for Astronomy. Writing-wise, it's crap, but I'm putting it in here because I think Tycho is very interesting, and all it really is is random facts stuck together. His life was quite entertaining. I left out, alas, the dwarf he had entertain him at his observatory. If I had time, I think Tycho would be really fun to research, however much I dislike him as a person.

(It's a tiny astronomy paper with internet research only (I hate internet research), so I'm not wntirely sure it's all true, though it came from sites the school pays for access to)

Tyge Brahe was born in 1546 in Denmark to a privy councilor and governor. Tyge had a stillborn twin, who served as the topic of his first publication, a Latin ode. When he was two, his childless uncle Jørgen, a Danish admiral, kidnapped him and raised him in his castle. There was, it seems, no fuss made, possibly because Tyge had 10 siblings. At 15, he changed his name to Tycho.
At 13, Tycho’s rich uncle sent him to that Lutheran University of Copenhagen to prepare him for a career in law. There, he beheld a total eclipse of the sun. Tycho was packed off to the University of Leipzig in 1562 to further his unwilling law career. Tycho studied law with his tutor during the day and studied astronomy at night when his tutor was asleep. In 1563, he saw another astronomical wonder, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, and discovered that the almanacs and dates in the Copernican tables were all inaccurate by at least a few days. Tycho decided to create new tables, with precise dates, and this became his life work.
In 1565, uncle Jørgen rescued the drowning Frederick II of Denmark and subsequently died of pneumonia. At Rostock, Tycho quarreled with another nobleman as to who was the superior mathematician. The argument was solved in a drunken nighttime duel, which cost Tycho the tip of his nose. Ingenious and pompous man that he was, he created a false tip for himself made of wax, silver, and gold.
In 1572, he discovered what is now known as Tycho’s star, a new nova in the constellation Cassiopeia. In Aristotle’s universe, the stars were still, and that this new one was suddenly shining more brightly than any others (from Earth) was a powerful blow that made Tycho well known. The next year, Tycho, the markedly aristocratic, married a peasant by the name of Kristine. They lived together for the length of time that was required for it to become legal despite their social differences, however, their children, though legitimate, and his wife remained of commoner status, and could not inherit land, name, or coat of arms.
Frederick gifted Tycho the island of Hven to study from and to ensure he would stay in Denmark. Here Uraniborg, “Castle of the Stars”, was built. Uraniborg was much, much more than an observatory. Tycho once claimed it cost the king more than a ton of gold. It had libraries, studies, fancy guest rooms, fish ponds, gardens, turrets, forests, workshops for making paper and printing books, self-invented plumbing, running water, toilets, orchards, an aviary, and a cellar of alchemical furnaces. He also, of course, had the best equiptment available for naked-eye observation, including a nine-foot armillary sphere and fourteen mural quadrant. His margin of error was 6’ less than those previous. He built a second, subterranean, observatory, Stjerneborg, nearby to protect his equipment from the rough winds.
He did not accept Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe, but rather invented his own hybrid in which the planets orbit the Sun and the Sun and Moon orbit a still Earth. He studied a comet viewed in 1577, noting that the elliptical orbit would cause it to pass through several of Aristotles heavenly crystalline spheres.
Tycho owned a pet moose, which was so tame it would follow him about. He received a request for such a curiosity from his close friend in Germany, however, was forced to order a new moose to be sent, as the previous one had regrettably over-imbibed at a feast, fallen down a set of stairs, and died.
The reasons given for Tycho leaving Denmark are varied: an insulting lack of monetary endorsement from the new king, Christian IV, an argument, inheritance laws, or the neglection of the necessary upkeep of the leaky cathedral nearby, a leaky cathedral that just happened to contain the king's father and grandfather. He moved to Prague, and lived in the in the favor of Emperor Rudolph II.
In 1601, Tycho, banqueting, neglected to excuse himself from the table in order to relieve his urgent bladder. This last, arrogant act of etiquette cost him dearly, as he died eleven days later from its consequences. It is debated whether Tycho instead died from mercury poisoning (which a disturbance of his tomb furnished evidence for), or was, perhaps, poisoned by the rising Johannes Kepler. As he died, he instructed Kepler: "Let me not seem to have lived in vain". Kepler published his book not long thereafter, but he gave great credit to Tycho, although this probably has more to do with Tycho's angry family than the author's dying words.
Tycho lives on as the namesake of craters on the Moon and Mars, an Australian powersynth band, an Irish synthpop band, and a character in Penny Arcade.
Tycho located and recorded the positions of 777 fixed stars. He was an arrogant man with the money to pursue astronomy and a life of bizarre events. His 20 years worth of data, however, gave Kepler what was needed to finish Tycho’s task of accuracy and for Kepler to continue the discoveries of astronomy.
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