Neptune discovered one neptunian year ago

On 12 July, Neptune celebrated its very first birthday because exactly one Neptunian year — or 164.79 Earth years — had passed since its discovery.

Neptune was mathematically predicted before it was first telescopically observed on 24 September 1846. Astronomers used calculations to locate the planet. It was found to be within a single degree of where scientists had predicted it would be and it was the first planet to have been discovered deliberately.

Its position was worked out because astronomers had mapped the orbit of Uranus and detected irregularities in its path that could only be explained if the gravity of a further, separate and unknown planet was disturbing its path around the Sun. This triggered a hunt for an eighth planet. Learn more here, here or here.


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