- Associated Press - Monday, November 15, 2010

PRAGUE (AP) - An international team of scientists is set to open the tomb of Tycho Brahe in an effort to shed light on the mysterious death of the influential 16th-century Danish astronomer.

Brahe died in 1601 at the age of 53 and was buried in the Church of Our Lady before Tyn near Prague’s Old Town Square. He was believed to have died of a bladder infection but recent tests have indicated mercury poisoning could be the cause.

The scientists have five days to take samples. The results of tests are expected next year.

Brahe’s accurate astronomical observations helped lay the foundations of early modern astronomy. He was in Prague at the invitation of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II.

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