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Paper: Tycho Brahe and the Nova of 1572
Volume: 342, 1604-2004: Supernovae as Cosmological Lighthouses
Page: 3
Authors: Gingerich, O.
Abstract: The brilliant Nova of 1572 marked the beginning of the end of Aristotelian cosmology and provided the defining moment when the young Tycho Brahe became a professional astronomer. He received more than a ton of gold from the Danish king to build his Uraniborg Observatory. His instruments, the finest produced in the pre-telescopic age, enabled him to establish that both the nova and the Comet of 1577 lay beyond the moon, contrary to Aristotle's teaching. His major attempt to establish the distance to Mars (in order to distinguish between the Ptolemaic and Copernican cosmologies) failed, but left in its wake a magnificently accurate set of data that enabled Kepler to make the greatest advance in celestial mechanics since Copernicus himself.
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