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Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries
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Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A real-life Amadeus: Set against the backdrop of the Counter-Reformation, this is the story of the stormy collaboration between two revolutionary astronomers, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. That collaboration would mark the dawn of modern science . . . and end in murder.

Johannes Kepler changed forever our understanding of the universe with his three laws of planetary mot
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 18th 2004 by Doubleday
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Apr 16, 2012 Jesse rated it liked it
overall an interesting read. nothing mindblowing in terms of science-writing, but just the idea that kepler murdered tycho is enough to sustain a 250 pg. book. and even if kepler didn't murder him, the book's portrait of kepler as a sociopath, was fairly riviting. not sure if the portrait of him is extremly slanted or not as i've never read any other material on kepler. anyway, the book is definitely not a waste of time, as long as you come at it not expecting great astronomy writing.
Jan 29, 2017 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
I appreciate books on the history of science, which is why I first picked this one up, but once I started reading, I found myself enthralled not by the science under question but by the personalities and passions that surrounded the scientific discoveries of the day. Kepler is described in minute detail from his own journals and correspondence. He comes to light as a mentally unstable genius, scarred by a violent and emotionally challenging childhood, who makes enemies faster than friends and lo ...more
Matt McCormick
Mar 20, 2017 Matt McCormick rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-to-read
I got roped in. As I began this book I had a cynical, preconceived notion that the “murder” of the great astronomer Tycho Brahe by the even more famous astronomer Johannes Kepler promoted in the title was but bait to increase retail sales. I quickly came to the belief I was wrong. Heavenly Intrigue certainly contributes to the reader’s appreciation of how professional astronomy emerged prominently from the previously more common mysticism of astrology. It contributes to an understanding of the e ...more
Monica Rice
Jul 19, 2016 Monica Rice rated it it was amazing
I rarely read books that are heavy on science. But when I noticed this book at the Two Sister’s, the story of intrigue and the chance to learn about a part of history that is foreign to me led me to add it to my challenge reading list. The entire book was engaging and filled with carefully conducted and documented research. The central hypothesis presented is that Johannas Kepler – celebrated astronomer/astrologer and developer of scientific theories that founded modern models of the heavens int ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Apr 23, 2012 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it it was ok
When I very first spotted Heavenly Intrigue on my library shelves, I resisted picking it up because of the blatant sensationalism of the subtitle but I just couldn’t pass up the chance to get a second perspective on the same story. As expected, this book presented a much less detailed overview of Kepler and Brahe’s work than Tycho and Kepler, with a much greater emphasis on interpersonal relationships and drama. It was much easier to follow and I think this would have been the case even if I’d r ...more
Well, interesting speculation, however just in time I was reading the book, scientists came to this conclusion: The team reported in November 2012 that not only was there not enough mercury present to substantiate murder, but that there were no lethal levels of any poisons present. The team's conclusions was that "it is impossible that Tycho Brahe could have been murdered" [33][34] and "most likely died of a burst bladder".[16] The findings were confirmed by scientist from University of Rostock ...more
Dec 28, 2008 Ramona rated it liked it
I read this book when I was studying astronomy a couple of years ago. I found the histories of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler very interesting. They were both such huge contributers to how we view the universe in modern times. An interesting twist with the evidence that Kepler may have murdered Brahe so he could claim responsibility for these amazing heavenly discoveries. But does the evidence rise to the level of "beyond a reasonable doubt", the standard we use today for a murder conviction?
This book wasn't quite the CSI Episode that critics/reviewers said it was. It was okay, and the argument was somewhat convincing. However, research has shown that the authors' take on the Brahe/Kepler relationship was slanted. They conveniently include all of Kepler's journal entries that make him seem like a wacko and none of the entries that would allow him to appear normal.
Apr 08, 2010 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: science, read-in-2010
Did Johannes Kepler murder Tycho Brahe for his data? Wow! The authors have some evidence but 400 years is a bit too far back for any certainty. I am so not interested in conspiracy theories but this was an interesting book as I had not read much biographically about either one.
Oct 04, 2013 Poivree rated it it was ok
The personalities involved here are interesting but the speculation that Kepler murdered Brahe with Mercury seems to have been proven wrong.
Apr 10, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
Science nerds would love this one. I enjoyed the history, the story and the mystery but it is wrapped in some heavy chemistry,astronomy and a little physics at some points.
TC rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2011
Carl Lew
Carl Lew rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2016
Aug 28, 2007 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Also of note on this subject is Rocky Kolb's Blind Watchers of the Sky.
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Oct 11, 2007
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