Why was Tycho Brahe against Copernican heliocentrism


The development of the heliocentric worldview
with the participation of Leipzig scholars

In the middle of the 16th century, professors and students were active at Leipzig University, whose work contributed to the underpinning and dissemination of the knowledge of the great astronomers Nikolaus Kopernikus and Johannes Kepler, albeit mostly after their time in Leipzig.

Joachim Rheticus from Feldkirch in Vorarlberg - professor of mathematics at the University of Wittenberg - was an enthusiastic supporter of Copernican teaching. The publication of his "first report" (Narratio prima) on Copernicus made his teaching really well known. In 1539 he traveled to East Prussia to persuade Copernicus to print his main work "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium", which then appeared in 1543. In 1542 Rheticus succeeded in binding Rheticus to the University of Leipzig as a professor of mathematics for a short time. Little is known about his work in Leipzig.
He followed in 1548 Johannes Hommel as a mathematics professor who, however, rejected the findings of Copernicus. His merits lie in the spread of sundials and in the creation of the beginnings of a cartography of Saxony. He later became the cartographer of Elector August.


 
Tycho Brahe 
The Danish astronomer was also not convinced of the truth of the heliocentric world system Tycho Brahe. From 1562 he studied with Hommel in Leipzig. Originally sent to Leipzig by his family to study law, Brahe used most of his money to buy astronomical books and instruments. Equipped with a globe and compass - there was no telescope at the time - he carried out observations on the night sky over Leipzig on August 17 and 24, 1563 during the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Here he found that the calculations according to both the Ptolomean and the Copernican systems only inaccurately reproduced the true location of the planets. These Leipzig observations gave Brahe the impetus to improve the accuracy of the astronomical data. Brahe's time in Leipzig ended in 1565 when the war between Denmark and Sweden broke out.
In 1576 the Danish king granted him the funds for the construction and operation of an observatory on the island of Hven. Here he carried out measurements and observations for almost 20 years, the accuracy of which exceeded that of all investigations at that time. Nevertheless, he lagged far behind Copernicus in his conclusions. He tried to save the special position of the earth by letting the other planets orbit the sun, but depicting the earth as fixed with the satellites sun and moon.
In 1597 he went to Prague to the emperor's court. Here he hired a talented mathematician as an assistant - his name: Johannes Kepler. The collaboration was tense, because Kepler was a supporter of the teachings of Copernicus. After Brahe's death (1601), the latter evaluated his coveted observation protocols and, after lengthy calculations, found out that the planets do not draw circles, but ellipses, and the faster the closer they get to the sun.