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Tycho Brahe and His Nose

  1. May 8, 2015 #1
    In textbooks, I've read the story of Tycho Brahe losing his nose in a duel with another astronomer since I was a teenager. My question is, what is the original source of this story? I've looked online and only find the story repeated without attribution. I've always loved the story of Brahe and Kepler and wanted to share it with some students (English, not Science), but I didn't want to pass down a legend without knowing the factual basis for it. Thanks.

    (Just to be specific, I realize that the fact of Tycho's missing nose is supported by portraits of him...I just want to know if he really lost it in an argument over who was the better astronomer!)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2015 #2


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    Wikipedia has a section on the story of Tycho losing his nose:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe {See Tycho's Nose}

    Tycho had a running quarrel with a cousin over some mathematical formula, and a duel eventually ensued. Tycho lost the argument by a nose. :H:)):eek::rolleyes:o_O

    Tycho's body was exhumed from his tomb in 1901 and 2010, and the fake nose was examined. It was made of brass.
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