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Proceedings Paper

Tycho and his observatory as sources of inspiration to modern astronomy
Author(s): Richard M. West
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Paper Abstract

This article briefly surveys the life and scientific work of Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601), one of the greatest astronomers of all times. He successfully designed and constructed the most advanced astronomical observatory of his time on the island of Hven and during twenty years he effectively directed what is considered to be the first, modern research institute. He inaugurated a new era of observational astronomy and emphasized the need to determine instrumental errors, just before this field of natural science was revolutionized by the invention of the telescope. He laid the observational basis for Kepler's investigations of the planetary motions which eventually served as a cornerstone for Newton's description of the universal force of gravitation. Tycho's challenges were similar to those of his colleagues of our days and it is of some interest to understand the environment in which he operated and the keys to his success.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 March 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2871, Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow, (21 March 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.269109
Show Author Affiliations
Richard M. West, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2871:
Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow

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