Lecture12.doc - TychoBrahe(15461601)

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Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601) Tycho was an outgoing, arrogant man who once claimed that he was the greatest  observer of the heavens who ever lived, but the greatest who ever would live.  He was  partially right. Tycho had become famous as an astronomer and under the patronage of the king  of Denmark set up a great observatory to make observations of the stars and planets more  accurate than those of Ptolemy, or indeed anyone else who preceded him.  He did not  believe in the Copernican cosmology, but rather the Ptolemaic, partly because of the  parallax problem that he thought for sure he would be able to measure. But the accuracy  of his observations indicated to him that even Ptolemy’s ideas would need revision.  He  realized, for example, that not all of the planets revolved around the Earth.  Mercury and  Venus had to revolve around the Sun. When Tycho moved to Prague in 1597, he knew that he needed someone well  trained in mathematics to make sense of all of the measurements he had made. Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630) Tycho hired Kepler, an introverted monkish sort who puzzled over the tables of  numbers that Tycho had produced.  Kepler was trained in geometry and was influenced  by the Copernican cosmology.  Until he was hired by Tycho (and perhaps after as well), 
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2011 for the course ASTRO 10 taught by Professor Norm during the Spring '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Lecture12.doc - TychoBrahe(15461601)

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