Tag Archives: Neptune

this day in the yesteryear: Planet Neptune Is Discovered (1846)


Planet Neptune Is Discovered (1846)

Neptune is notable for being the first planet to be discovered by way of mathematical prediction rather than standard observation. Galileo observed Neptune twice in the early 1600s, but he mistook the planet for a fixed star and is therefore not credited with its discovery. Centuries later, small changes in Uranus’s orbit led astronomers to seek out and discover the eighth and outermost planet of our solar system. Who predicted Neptune’s location in the 1840s within 1° of where it was found? More… Discuss

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this day in history: Pioneer 10 – First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)


Pioneer 10: First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)

Launched in 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and to make up-close observations of Jupiter, capturing images that were later sent back to Earth. It passed the orbit of Neptune in 1983 and became by some definitions the first artificial object to leave our solar system. By February 1998, the probe was over 7.5 billion miles from Earth but lost its title as the most distant man-made object to what craft? More… Discuss

NEWS: FIRST RINGED ASTEROID IDENTIFIED


First Ringed Asteroid Identified

An asteroid orbiting the Sun between Saturn and Uranus has become the first asteroid identified as having rings. Until now, this feature had only been observed around the four gas giants, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The 154-mile (248-km) asteroid, Chariklo, appears to have two distinct rings—one 4.3 miles (7 km) wide and the other 1.9 miles (3 km) wide—separated by a gap of about 5.6 miles (9 km). Given the rings’ crisp edges, astronomers suspect that Chariklo also has at least one moon, though none have yet been discovered. More… Discuss

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