16 Nov 2010

16th century astronomer's death to be probed

9:04 am on 16 November 2010

Scientists are to exhume the remains of 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe to determine how he died.

Brahe is buried in the Czech capital Prague and is celebrated for the accuracy of his planetary observations, helping to develop modern day astronomy. He catalogued more than 1000 new stars.

Brahe is thought to have succumbed to a bladder infection, but mercury poisoning has also been suggested, the BBC reports.

A team of Danish and Czech scientists hope to solve the mystery by analysing bone, hair and clothing samples.