Sunday, December 15, 2013

The nose job

A duel to resolve scientific arguments? Well those were the days my friend..

"While studying at the University of Rostock[12] in Germany, on 29 December 1566 Tycho Brahe, a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations, lost part of his nose in a sword duel against fellow Danish nobleman (and his third cousin), Manderup Parsberg.Tycho had earlier quarrelled with Parsbjerg over the legitimacy of a mathematical formula, at a wedding dance at professor Lucas Bachmeister's house on the 10th, and again on the 27th. Since neither had the resources to prove the other wrong, they ended up resolving the issue with a duel. Though the two later reconciled, the duel two days later (in the dark) resulted in Tycho losing the bridge of his nose.

In his De nova stella (On the new star) of 1573, Tycho Brahe refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that "new stars," (stellae novae, now known as supernovae) in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax expected in sub-lunar phenomena, and were therefore not "atmospheric" tailless comets as previously believed, but were above the atmosphere and moon."


No comments: