Map of the island of Hven, Denmark, late 16th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Between 1576 and 1584 Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) built two observatories on Venusia or Hven, now in Sweden. At Uraniborg ('Castle of the Heavens'), he made naked-eye observations for the first new star catalogue since Antiquity, successfully placing 777 stars with such accuracy as to provide vital information for later astronomers. Stjerneborg ('Castle of the Stars'), was constructed mostly underground. Though Brahe did not believe the Earth moved around the Sun, his work provided support for the opposing view, known as the heliocentric system. Illustration from Brahe's 'Astronomiae instauratae mechanica' (in English, 'Instruments of the renewed astronomy' or 'Apparatus for the Foundation of Astronomy'), (Nuremberg, 1602).