Renæssanceforum 12 • 2017
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John Robert Christianson
Tycho Brahe's Earliest Instruments

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) became fascinated with stargazing at the age of thirteen and pursued astronomy-astrology in secret throughout his eight years of university studies, when he was supposed to be studying jurisprudence. In 1564, a fellow student in Leipzig helped him make his first instrument, and when his university studies were over in 1569-1570, he began to design innovative instruments, including a gargantuan quadrant that was clumsy but extremely accurate. Because he was self-taught, he developed his own empirical methods instead of following the theoretical and astrological approach taken by most contemporary astronomer-astrologers.