Sophie Brahe: A Renowned Danish Astronomer, Genealogist and Chemist of 16th and 17th Century

Born: On 24 August 1556
Died: In 1643

Danish horticulturalist and astronomist Sophie Brahe is remembered for her significant assistance to her 10 year senior brother Tycho Brahe, who was already a Famous astronomer. She contributed in making astronomical measurements and observations that later helped in the modern planetary orbit predictions. She started assisting her brother from 1573 when she was hardly 17 years old. Her brother taught her to have an in-depth knowledge on horticulture and chemistry while she studied astronomy, Genealogy, medicine, especially Paracelsian medicine, on her own.

In 1576, at the age of 19, Sophie married 33 year old Otto Thott of Eriksholm with whom she gave birth to one son, Tage in 1580. In 1588 after her husband’s death she received the fortune of her late husband in Ericksholm where she once again started her studies and made a laboratory in her garden to focus on Paracelsian medicines.

In 1602, she married her second husband Erik Lange whom she met during her frequent visit to Uranienborg, Norway. Before her marriage she was already engaged to him in 1590. She lived in extreme poverty in her second marriage because she was disowned by her family for shifting her interest in medicine from astronomy. In 1613, her second husband Erik Lange died and in 1616 she returned to Denmark. She spent her last years there and wrote the genealogy of Danish noble families. She left her most significant contribution, a manuscript comprising of over 900 pages on the genealogies of 60 Danish nobilities which was published in 1626. She died in 1643 in Helsingør and was buried with the Thott family in Kristianstad, in Trefaldighets kyrka.

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