Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler was born in Germany, in the year of 1571.  Growing up, Kepler had a great interest in science and astronomy, but unfortunately, he caught smallpox. This weakened his whole body, and especially his eyesight so he couldn’t study the skies like he had before.   Undefeated,  Kepler left for the University, to become a mathematician. During his time studying, he was taught about the heliocentric world view, which was very controversial during that time.  As a side note, having the heliocentric world view meant that you believed that all of the planets revolved around the sun, rather than the popular belief that the planets all revolved around the earth.  Kepler finished his education at the university, and then, at the age of 23, he got the job of teaching mathematics and astronomy in Graz.

When he was 29 years old, Johannes Kepler relocated to Prague to become an associate with the notable Tycho Brahe, who was the Imperial Astronomer for Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Rudolph II.  About a year later, Brahe died unexpectedly, and Kepler became the Imperial Astronomer in his place.  Johannes Kepler died on November 15, in the year of 1630.

 

Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe was born in Sweden, on December 14th, 1546, to Otte Brahe and Beate Clausedatter Bille.  Tycho was actually a Danish Nobleman.  His parents were very wealthy so they could afford a very good education for him.  At the young age of twelve, the boy went to the University where he studied law and astronomy.  While at the University, Brahe and another student had an argument about something and decided to settle it with a sword duel.  In the struggle, Brahe got part of his nose chopped off. For the rest of his life, he had to live with an ugly prosthetic nose that was made out of brass.  Tycho became the Imperial Astronomer for Emperor Rudolph II and started building a new Observatory.  Then, he met Kepler. They really hit it off!  Brahe was very impressed with Kepler’s ideas and observations and so they started working together on things.  This was actually quite remarkable because, in those days, the scientists weren’t very team-work oriented.  Just a year after they met, Brahe died, and Kepler was appointed to his position.

 

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