The History Blog notes that Tycho Brahe's remains have been exhumed in Prague (and will be reburied on November 19, 2010). They want to investigate whether Tycho got either chronic mercury poisoning (through medication or his experiments) or acute mercury poisoning (i.e., was murdered).
The story on Tycho's death always was that he held his pee too long at a reception for Rudolf II, which sounds like a story a third grader would make up.
The researchers also hope to see if they can find traces of his famous fake nose, to see if they can establish what it was made out of.
None of the results will be particularly earth-shattering, I suppose. Still, minor mysteries like this have an odd fascination.
On my childhood visits to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, I found myself interested in some old wooden models of of his observatories Uraniborg and Stjerneborg (Maybe Stjernborg), which he had built on his island of Ven. I remember them being startlingly detailed. This didn't teach me a thing about astronomy, or even about the state of observational astronomy c. 1600, but they had a magical feel to them, of a kind of dark mystery--particularly Stjerneborg, which was mostly underground. Even the room they were kept in was dark.
I haven't been back to the Adler in years. I wonder if they are still there?