Treasure's description

Astronomical observation

Astronomical observation

The device pictured was used to measure altitude by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), one of the foremost astronomers of the pre-telescopic age. The illustration is taken from the 1648 edition of the complete works of Brahe, who had become renowned for having devised new and more minutely calibrated instruments. The inspiration for his career in astronomy came in 1572, when, observing a new star with the very basic instruments then available to him, he was led to challenge the dominant conception of the immutable perfection of the heavens.