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8 Phantom Moons and Planets

8 Feb 2013, 14:55 UTC
8 Phantom Moons and Planets
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From early civilizations until today man has sought to explore and discover what is beyond our world. From the ancient discovery of the wandering stars to the thousands of potential new planets found this decade, mankind has sought to make many astronomical advances. However some of these ‘breakthroughs’ that occurred throughout history happened to be more phantom than fact.

Mysterious planet Vulcan

Published in 1859 were revamped works by mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (1811-1877). He suggested that Mercury’s orbit was so eccentric that it must be affected by another celestial body. La Verrier had become famous as he also had discovered the planet Neptune in 1846. His discovery of the gas giant planet involved completing careful calculation of Uranus’ orbit and predicting correctly that there was another planet affecting its orbit. So using the same method of discovery, Le Verrier’s claims that a small world was located between Mercury and the Sun caused many astronomers around the world to turn their telescopes to the sky in search for this planet called Vulcan. Another big believer in Vulcan’s existence was French amateur astronomer Edmond Modeste Lescarbault (1814-1894) who claimed to have seen this planet transit across the Sun in ...

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