Both were English astronomers, opticians and military engineers. Thomas was born in Wotton, Kent, England, and incorporated his father's work on optics and ballistics into his own publications. He was tutored by JOHN DEE. In 1573 Thomas Digges published Alae seu Scalae Mathematicae, a work on the position of the supernova of 1572, showing it had no parallax, i.e