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Systemic - Characterizing Extrasolar Planetary Systems

Neptune after one orbit

18 Jan 2011, 06:20 UTC
Neptune after one orbit NASA/JPL
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This coming July, the planet Neptune will have completed one full orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846, an event which constituted the occasion, a week ago Sunday in Seattle, for a special session of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society. From the conference program:
The year 2011 marks not only the 200th anniversary of the French mathematical astronomer Urbain Le Verrier’’s birth, but also the first return of Neptune to its optical-discovery position in 1846. Despite the passage of more than 164 years since that planet discovery, the circumstances surrounding the near-simultaneous mathematical predictions of a transuranian disturbing planet made by Le Verrier and John Couch Adams, a young Fellow in St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge, and the subsequent optical discovery of Neptune by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle at the Berlin Observatory continue to remain controversial. The double anniversary occurring in 2011 is an appropriate time to examine the Neptune discovery event from a number of new perspectives. In this session we shall explore how Cornwall shaped Adams’ early education and his method of locating the presence of a hypothetical disturbing planet. We shall examine the possibility that Adams (and perhaps ...

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