updated 2/5/2010 10:43:22 AM ET 2010-02-05T15:43:22

Prague City Hall says it has approved a request by Danish scientists to exhume the remains of famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Brahe, born in 1546, has been buried in the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn near Prague's Old Town Square since his death in 1601.

Stepan Filipec of the church says the scientists will have a week for their work, aimed at determining the cause of Brahe's death. He said Friday a team from Aarhus University was expected to arrive later this year.

Brahe, whose astronomical observations helped lay the foundations of early modern astronomy, was in Prague at the invitation of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II.

A legend says he died of a bladder infection but a kidney disease or mercury poisoning could also be the cause.

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