Tycho Brahe was born in Castle Knudstrup in Scania, then Danish province today in Sweden.
His family was a rich noble family of Swedish origin. His father, Otto Brahe was a nobleman and an important figure in the royal court of Denmark.
Passionate about the things of heaven, the young Tycho devoured every book on astronomy and astrology which he could lay hands.
That the costs of attending law school he began to study the sky. Temperamental and stubborn individualist, Tycho Brahe posted more than once an arrogant attitude. Teenager, he fought a duel with a sword, his opponent amputated the tip of the nose.
Tycho did sculpt a prosthetic gold and silver which he carried throughout his life. Tycho denied the Copernican system, not only because it contradicted the Bible, but also because there is no observed annual parallax.
He advocated a geo-heliocentric similar to that of Heraclides. Tycho Brahe was a maniac of observation, revealing himself very good at designing and manufacturing of new instruments that had no optical component as a lens or mirror, the telescope has not yet been invented. Even if Galileo later criticized the unnecessary complexity and the exorbitant cost of these instruments, the fact remains that Tycho made many observations of high accuracy. The position error of the stars observed was about one or two minutes of arc. Tycho Brahe was surely one of the first astronomers, after Hipparchus, having realized the need for systematic observations made night after night, continuously.
On November 11, 1572, Tycho discovered a new star in the constellation Cassiopeia, a part of the sky where there was no star before.
The object became so bright that was visible in daylight. This fantastic appearance consternation Tycho and his contemporaries.
Tycho stressed the great lack of parallax of the object, placing it in a very remote. As we now know, the object that Tycho was fascinated as a supernova, a star that is exploding in its final phase. Measurements of the brightness of the supernova, Tycho, were so precise that astronomers still use contemporary. In 1576, King Frederick II of Denmark, patron of the arts and sciences, is impressed by Tycho.
He offers the small island near Copenhagen Hveen that he continue his studies. Tycho was receiving a pension and had a rich supreme authority over the inhabitants of the island, he administered as a real dictator. He built on this island, its famous observatory Uraniborg, "Urania Palace or Palace of Heaven, Urania was the muse of astronomy). He equipped his observatory and a printing multiple instruments manufactured in his workshop.
It was then the largest observatory in Europe attracting students and astronomers from all over Europe. Tycho's observations, accumulated during his life, constitute a rich database for astronomers to come.
Considered by his contemporaries as the most accurate observers, so that any comments were made before the invention of the telescope and the telescope. Tycho Brahe devised his system of the world that bears his name.
The great comet of 1577 was observed throughout Europe and particularly by Tycho Brahe.
It challenges Aristotle who thought that these bodies were formed below the Moon, the Earth's atmosphere. Tycho showed that the comet had no measurable parallax diurnal and therefore should be well beyond the Moon.
For him, the comet was to describe an elliptical orbit around the sun beyond the moon, overlapping those of planets.
He concludes that the planets were not based on solid transparent spheres (the famous "crystal spheres" of Aristotle).
Although it retains the geocentric, he challenges two important points of ancient models, the "soundness" of the spheres and the circular movement of the stars. It is the young Kepler (1571-1630) who use the data of Tycho Brahe by drafting new record astronomical tables Rudolphine. This will allow him to establish his theory of motion of the planet Mars.
Tycho Brahe knew the writings of Kepler and fate would have them meet. In 1584 Tycho built an astronomical observatory buried Stjerneborg he called "Palace of the stars." There were underground chambers which were installed in the instruments of all kinds and roofs or domes protruding from the ground.
On the death of King Frederick II in 1588, Tycho Brahe lost his patrons. He lost the support of King Christian IV and the board of Frederick II.
Tycho reveals a very poor administrator, a hardness abominable against people of his island, he blindly monopolize resources of the island for his observatory Uraniborg, and of course, is bankrupt.
Disgraced, Tycho Brahe left Denmark.
He moved to Prague where Emperor Rudolf II took him under his tutelage at the end of the year 1599. Furthermore, an edict issued against Protestants forced to leave the Kepler Styria and take refuge in Prague, free from religious intolerance.
This is where Kepler and Tycho Brahe meet and face their disagreements, on the Copernican theory. Kepler undertook a thorough analysis of the observations of Tycho and the dolphin becomes the "imperial Mathematicus.
Tycho Brahe was assisted by Johannes Kepler from 1600 to 1601, Tycho died on October 22, 1601. He is buried in the church of Our Lady of Tyn, near the astronomical clock in Prague.
Kepler's astronomical data was used to develop his own theories on astronomy and formulated the three laws of planetary motion Kepler's laws say.
Image: Allegorical engraving showing the interior of Uraniborg. He also built a palace whose construction was funded by King Frederick II and lasted from 1576 to 1580. It was a luxurious building which included a workshop for making instruments for astronomy, a printing intended to publish his work, a laboratory of alchemy.