1. Tycho Brahe: Tycho’s primary contribution to astronomy is his collection of stellar and planetary observations. Accurate to within one arcminute, Tycho’s naked eye observations were unprecedented in quality. Tycho proved that comets lay in the realm of the heavens and sought to improve upon the current model of the solar system. Although Tycho never lived to completely fulfill his goal, his work lived on through Kepler who can be attributed with the discovery of elliptical orbits.
  2. Major Historical Events:
    1. 1585 – Under orders by Queen Elizabeth I, the British found Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, on the outer banks of North Carolina. The colony was a preliminary attempt to establish permanent colonization. The settlement is infamous for the disappearance of its inhabitants in 1590, which earned it the nickname “Lost Colony.”
    2. 1591 – Sir John Harington of Kelston creates the first flushing toilet. Harington introduces his invention in a book titled A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called The Metamorphosis of Ajax. The book not only proposes a new model of urban sanitation, but also provides a stage for needed social and political commentary.
  3. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was one of the most notable figures to have lived during the time of Tycho Brahe. Serving as the Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England, Bacon is often considered the father of empiricism and the originator of the scientific method. He established the Baconian method – the idea of reasoning by deduction, or drawing conclusions from accumulating data – in his book Novum Organum.
  4. This period in history was incredibly interesting to review. The happenings during the 16th and 17th centuries seemed to be fundamental in creating the physical structure of our modern world. The cultivation of political theory through figures like Bacon and Elizabeth I, and the scientific fervor displayed by figures like Brahe and Kepler helped to prepare us for a global society. The exploration, colonization and scientific achievement created a more complete picture of our world and its solar system (heliocentric universe). The impact of scientific figures like Galileo Galilei and his contemporaries have shaped the path of modern science by challenging ideologies that had stood for centuries. Developments during this period reveal a time that was most fundamental in creating modern science.