Tycho's Supernova

The star that changed the world

"Oh thick wits, oh blind watchers of the sky"
Tycho Brahe

The year is 1572.
A group of noblemen are enjoying the evening's clear sky outdoors.
8000 light years away.
A star was about to explode.
Destroying Aristotle.
And changing the world.

Tycho Brahe, a young learned Danish nobleman.
Looked up to the sky.
Startled and wide-eyed he noticed something astonishing.
There was a new star in the sky.

This wasn't simply an interesting observation.
This was a monumental event.
This was simply not supposed to happen. Ever.

A new star contradicted Aristotelian "unchanging celestial realm."
And that had been the dominant dogma for millennia.
A new star would challenge the very foundation of all western religion and knowledge.

Brahe used the parallax effect.
To demonstrate that it was not an atmospheric phenomenon.

Proving that it was indeed a "heavenly body" beyond the moon.
This was a new star.

We know it now as SN1572.
A supernova.
The explosion of a star.
One of few ever seen by the naked eye.

So if Aristotle was wrong.
If the heavens are indeed changing.
What does that mean?

What else do we not know?

This was the birth of the scientific revolution.
The Age of Enlightenment.
Of reason.
Of experiments and discovery.
All thanks to a supernova.

... and limitless curiosity.