ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SPL ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SPL
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Tycho Brahe. Portrait of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the greatest observer in the pre-telescope era. In 1573 Brahe discovered errors in the astronomical tables and so set about trying to rectify them by observing the stars and planets with unprecedented accuracy. He rejected Copernican theory (that the planets orbit the Sun) and it fell to his assistant Johannes Kepler to prove Copernicus right - using Brahe's data. A quarrelsome eccentric, he lost his nose in a duel fought over a mathematical dispute. Here he is wearing a false nose, made by himself from silver.
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