Monday, November 15, 2010

Who Killed Tycho Brahe?

PRAGUE (AP) -- An international team of scientists opened the tomb of famous 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe Monday in an effort to shed light on his sudden and mysterious death. It had been long thought he died of a bladder infection.

But tests conducted in 1996 in Sweden and later in Denmark on samples of his mustache and hair - obtained during a previous 1901 exhumation - indicated unusually high levels of mercury, leading to a theory of mercury poisoning, even possible murder.

They also are interested in Brahe's skull. He had part of his nose cut off during a duel with a fellow nobleman as a student and it was replaced by a metal plate. The plate was not found in 1901, but the tests should be able to determine what it was made of.

No comments: