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Mathematical Treasure: Tycho Brahe's 'New Astronomy'

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

The major published work of Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was intended to be Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata (Introduction to the New Astronomy), in three volumes. The work would present his observational findings and provide a voice for his theories. The second volume appeared in 1588; however, due to technical difficulties, the first volume wasn't published until 1602, and the third volume was never done. The images below come from an edition published in 1648:

Title page of Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata by Tycho Brahe, 1648

Page 97 contains a schematic of Kepler’s solar-centered universe:

Page 97 of Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata by Tycho Brahe, 1648

Illustrations of Brahe’s innovative measuring instruments are also featured:

Page 248 of Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata by Tycho Brahe, 1648

Images from the 1602 edition of this work can be found in Mathematical Treasure: Tycho Brahe’s Astronomy.

Tycho Brahe died in Prague on October 24, 1601, after becoming ill at an extensive feast. Much speculation arose as to the cause of his death, and this remained a mystery for many years. Here is an image of his published obituary:                    

Published obituary for Tycho Brahe from 1601

The images above are presented courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Library.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Tycho Brahe's 'New Astronomy'," Convergence (October 2018)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED