You are here

Mathematical Treasures - Tycho Brahe's astronomical instruments

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz



Title page of Tycho Brahe's Astronomiae instauratae mechanica. Brahe was the foremost astronomer of his time, particularly noted for his accurate celestial measurements.  His radial observations were consistently correct within one second of arc.  This accuracy was due in large part to the excellence of his self designed instruments, most of which are described in this book.  For a complete translation of his table of contents and listing of instruments see




An illustration from Brahe’s instauratae  showing his great mural quadrant.  This functioning quadrant was actually painted on the wall of his observatory, Uraniborg at Hven.


Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Tycho Brahe's astronomical instruments," Convergence (January 2011)


Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University