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Portrait of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). Brahe was without doubt the greatest astronomical observer of the pretelescope era. In 1572 he observed a nova in Cassiopeia and demonstrated it was a fixed star outside the solar system. In 1577 Brahe started to build the observatory of Uraniborg on the island of Hven, between Denmark and Sweden. Brahe furbished it with the best instruments available at that time, many of them designed by himself. He worked there for twenty years measuring with extreme accuracy the position of 777 stars and planets. His work provided the best astronomical database for later astronomers such as Kepler and Newton.
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