Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, late 16th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photogravure after an earlier painting. Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) is considered to be the greatest pre-telescope observer. Brahe's contributions to astronomy were enormous. Not only did he revolutionise astronomical instrumentation, by emphasising the importance of accuracy for the first time, but also profoundly changed observational practice. He was the first to observe the orbits of the moon and planets, and the first to make corrections for atmospheric refraction. His calculations of the orbit of Mars showed that the planet did not move uniformly in circles, but in ellipses. From a collection of portraits of scientists published by Photographische Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1910. Dimensions: 460mm x 340mm.