Death of Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, died on this day 24 October, 1601, of what is believed to be mercury poisoning.

Tycho Brahe, Image: St. Andrew’s University website

A less widely known fact about Brahe is that he had a false nose ever since he lost his own in a duel over who was the best mathematician! Egads, eh? That must have hurt. As a result of his injuries (in his teens) Brahe used several kinds of metallic noses.

The crater on Mars, “Crater Tycho Brahe” was named after him. 

Now it is quite clear to me that there are no solid spheres in the heavens, and those that have been devised by authors to save the appearances, exist only in their imagination, for the purpose of permitting the mind to conceive the motion which the heavenly bodies trace in their courses.

– Tycho Brahe, as quoted in A L Mackay, Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (London 1994)

To learn more about Brahe, visit:


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