During his lifetime, the Danish native paid for astrological and astronomical celebrity. This was due to his versatility, distinctive views as well as scientific discoveries. He found, for example, that the comet observed from Earth was much farther than the moon. At the same time laid the foundations for determining the orbits of the planets of the solar system. Tycho Brahe has been inquisitive since he was a child.
“At the age of fourteen, he passed through the Copenhagen University Gate and opened the first philosophical books, “states pedagogue and academician František Jáchim in his biographical book Tycho Brahe. Already at that time, his attention was drawn to mathematics and astronomy, or the science of space. For a turning point in the life of a teenage boy, who was born on December 14, 1546, Jáchim mentions August 21, 1560, when Brahe watched “solar eclipse, in Denmark partial but relatively extensive. After this phenomenon, the inner inclinations of others took an irreversible direction. “
Astronomer with his own island
Although Brahe achieved classical in philosophy, rhetoric avg rights, were his knowledge astronomy AND mathematics, which impressed the Danish King Frederick II. and which he deepened year after year through careful observation and research, which enabled him to come up with then modern and unsubstantiated theories that were at odds with the conservative perception of the universe. According to Aristotle’s generally accepted theory, this was, among other things, constant and unchanging.
However, Tycho Brahe, like other astronomers of the timey, witnessed the supernova flare up. While others considered it a comet, Brahe, to whom her discovery is attributed, observed that the body did not move at all, so it could not be a comet flying through space. Moreover, that body had to be far, “definitely further than the moon, and there was a dispute with Aristotle’s theory, because so far nothing could ever shine or fade, “Jáchim suggests Aristotle’s theory of the permanence of the universe, which Brahe denied by this discovery.
Brahe also held the remarkable theory that The earth is the center of the universe – which was not unusual at the time – and around it about the sun and the moon, the other planets then orbit the sun. As we know today, this is not the case in any case, although if we stick to one of the theories that the universe is truly infinite, then in Stephen Hawking’s words it would mean, “that in infinitely large universe we can consider each point as the center,“Hence the planet Earth.
Back to history: “In May 1576, the king’s decree gave Tychon Brahe an island, and at the same time the astronomers distributed a chain of elephant orders, one of the highest honors the Danish king could award,” says Jáchim.
The same year, however a few kilometers from the border of the Kingdom of Denmark To another event that affected Brah’s life. The emperor ascended the Austrian and therefore naturally Czech throne Rudolf II. This peculiarity of the Habsburg monarchy was never quite comfortable in Vienna, where it was bound by strict etiquette and even more precise expectations of relatives. Therefore, he decided to transfer his royal residence to Prague, from which he made a magnificent Renaissance metropolis, where he invited the greatest artists and scholars of his time.
In 1599 there was also Tychon Brahe, whom Rudolf decided to invite. This was not the first time that the young astronomer’s travels had been influenced by influences from Czech meadows and groves. “Tycho Brahe received his first astronomical training in the town of Lavingen,” Jáchim mentions. “For many years, he remembered the Czech Cyprián Lvovický from Lvovice, who taught mathematics and stronomy at the university at that time. Tycho Brahe respected Lvovický very much and for a long time considered a role model, “says the author on behalf of a lesser-known professor of astronomy, who came from Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. At the same time, Brahe corresponded with the Czech naturalist Tadeáš Hájek from Hájek for years, and maintained a friendly relationship with the doctor Jan Jesseni.
Tycho Brahe decided to accept Rudolf’s invitation – ancient Prague had a resonant name among scientists and artists. “He came to Bohemia at an age fifty-four years, which is the age when life experiences are already part of behavior and when life goals are defined, “says Jáchim. “At this age, too, strength is often waning“He does not forgive the remark, which suggests that there were only two years left until the end of Brah’s days.
It is interesting that it was not known for some time whether Tycho Brahe would live in Prague or in Benátky nad Jizerou, in which he actually stayed for a short time. However, he “made it easier” for him to make decisions. plague, which broke out in Venice at the end of 1599, and from which Brahe went to hide in Prague, where the best conditions for work were already being prepared for him. And Venice? Sure link the astronomer did keep it. “A good astronomer needs to know the exact location of his position for his work, ”Jáchim shares. Until then, the coordinates of Benátky nad Jizerou had not been determined by anyone, and “therefore there was no one to answer him, his first act was to determine the geographical location of Venice.” It happened on the basis of measuring the height of the North Pole. although were placed 100% accurate, it differs only slightly from the current ones – he did the same, even though he measured the coordinates for Prague.
Gates of Prague
“In the summer of 1600, Tycho Brahe left Venice and went to Prague, his last place of work,” the academic continues. “He stayed in Prague very simply in the Hradčany inn U zlatého noha and in the summer house of Queen Anne – Belvedere – the observation began. They started their work as always determining the geographical location of the habitat, “Jáchim mentions in the first place a house located in picturesque corners New World, and who, in honor of the famous astronomer, boasts a plaque commemorating that Tycho Brahe resided here.
Later, however, he moved to the house of Jakub Curtius from Senftenava, which unfortunately has not survived to this day. However, it is known that the house for Tychon was bought directly by Emperor Rudolfso that the scholar may live in the luxury and comfort that belonged to him. If we visited Prague 400 years ago, we would reach Tych Brahem at the door of a house that it stood in the places between Keplerova, Parléřova and Hládkov streets. Yes, roughly somewhere where the sculptural group of Tychon Brahe and Jan Kepler stands today, after all, its floor plan and garden of the competition interfered with the construction of the new Jan Kepler grammar school.
If he did not work in Belvedere, where he had “the main Prague observation point“, So” Tycho Brahe watched the sky directly from the house or his gardens, “writes Jáchim, adding that it was canceled at work by ringing bells from nearby churches, especially the Capuchin one on Loretánské Square, which is a stone’s throw from Hládkov . agreed. “He went to complain straight to the emperor,” Jáchim writes about the astronomer.
Tycho Brahe had with Rodolfo II. such weight that he really had to deal with the whole matter with the contribution of Archbishop Zbyněk Berky of Dubá and Chancellor Zdeněk Popel of Lobkovice. “The Capuchins are said to have adapted and to ring their bells and prayers before dark.“It was only good for Tychon Brahe, because from Rudolf together with the younger Jan Kepler, who also stayed in Prague at the emperor’s invitation, they received an order that he does not refuse.
Astronomer swan song
After both important astronomers Rudolf II. he demanded that they not compile new ones planet position tables. It was nothing revolutionary – similar tables were created in the past for astronomers to draw on. Over the years, however, imperfections in their measurement have been identified. “For both astronomers, Tycho accepted the offer and asked the emperors to be named Rudolfinum. This is how the famous Tabulae Rudolphinae was born, also known for how long it was formed, “writes Jáchim.
Tycho Brahe started with their work, but theirs he did not live to see completion and thus remained only on the shoulders of his younger colleague, after whom a prestigious grammar school was named in Pohořelec in Prague – yes, precisely in these places where Tycho Brahe stayed. But even Rudolf never saw “his” tables – Jan Kepler is not finished until in 1627 or 15 years after the death of the emperor and 26 years since the death of Tychon Brahe.
Tycho Brahe did not manage to do more, although he had big plans, for example, Jáchim mentions that he intended to create a large observatory. However, his legacy persists in Prague to this day. Not only because this astronomical giant died on its territory on October 24, 1601, and that there is also – specifically in the Týn Church – stored for eternal rest. His short-term stay and work are also reminiscent of Tychonova Street, which in Prague’s Hradčany line from Milady Horáková Street to Belvedere, symbolically to the very place where he spent more than an hour observing the sky and writing down various findings.
A memorial at the U Zlateho noha house reminds us that the plaque was once inhabited by the famous Danish astronomer Brahe.
Author: David Malík