An international team of scientists was opening the tomb of a famous 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in an effort to shed light on his sudden and mysterious death. Brahe, born in 1546, had been in Prague at the invitation of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II after leaving his scientific observatory on the island of Hven after a falling-out with the Danish king.

Brahe is believed to have been taking medicine that contained some mercury as a pain-reliever in the last few weeks of his life.

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