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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 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  9 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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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.
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
Katie/Doing Dewey
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
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.
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.
The personalities involved here are interesting but the speculation that Kepler murdered Brahe with Mercury seems to have been proven wrong.
Great history and well told but I don't know if I buy the theory that Kepler killed Brahe.
Also of note on this subject is Rocky Kolb's Blind Watchers of the Sky.
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