The First Planet Discovered By Math

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Two astronomers fought for credit when Neptune's presence was confirmed in 1846: John Couch Adams from Britain, and Urbain Le Verrier from France. Both had used math and physics to predict Neptune's position, but Le Verrier's prediction turned out to be more accurate.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Neptune's existence was predicted after scientists noticed that something was affecting the orbit of Uranus. 00:16

  2. Neptune's moon, Triton, is unique because it orbits Neptune in the opposite direction of the planet's spin. 01:38

  3. Triton was discovered by an amateur astronomer who owned a brewery. He used his beer profits to fund his telescopes. 03:07

Written by Curiosity Staff June 18, 2015