30. Tycho Brahe, Astronomiae instauratae mechanica (Nuremberg, 1602)

Type: Book
Inv. No. n/a
Source: Royal Astronomical Society

Tycho Brahe is the exhibition’s final example of an astronomical craftsman. His planetary system is represented in Mercator’s posthumously-published Atlas, but Tycho gave his opinion in 1600 that Mercator’s globes had been displaced by those of van Langren and Blaeu. Tycho kept abreast of such things. He was an instrument-maker himself, though not for trade, and maintained a workshop. He had a large celestial globe for recording the progress of his observations. The first edition (1598) of his Astronomiae instauratae mechanica, where he described his instruments, was produced by his own printing press.

The book is open to show Tycho’s modified version of an instrument that came to him as a gift from a canon at Frauenberg, where Copernicus had worked. Tycho was delighted to have an instrument (a ‘triquetum’, also known as ‘Ptolemy’s rules’) that Copernicus had used and was said to have made himself.

On loan from the Royal Astronomical Society

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