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Odd Bits: Tycho Brahe’s Observatory

Tycho Brache Uranborg Observatory

In 1576, the wonderfully eccentric Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe began construction on his observatory dedicated to the muse of astronomy, Urania. Brahe may be history’s most interesting astronomer — he lost his nose in a duel, hired a clairvoyant dwarf named Jepp to be his court jester, had prickly relationships with Galileo and Kepler, and kept a drunken pet moose — while also making some pretty amazing discoveries. The Uraniborg observatory was paired with a subterranean counterpart, named Stjerneborg (“Star Castle”) and housed astronomical instruments, a library, and an alchemical laboratory to fuel his other interests. Uraniborg was destroyed in 1601 after Brahe’s death, but a reconstruction of Stjerneborg can still be visited on the island of Hven in Denmark.

Find out More:

Tycho Brache – The Galileo Project

“The crazy life and crazier death of Tycho Brahe, history’s strangest astronomer” – io9

“Tycho Brache: The Astronomer with a Drunken Moose” – Mental Floss