William Pickering, American astronomer

William Pickering, American astronomer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Henry Pickering (1858-1938), American astronomer. Pickering predicted the existence of seven extra hypothetical planets in the solar system during 1908-32 using graphical analysis of perturbations in the orbits of known planets. He named them O, P, Q, R, S, T and U. He revised his results several times to fit observed data better, but planets have never been found that matched his predictions. He obtained some of the first photographs of Mars and used these as evidence that the supposed canals on Mars were actually natural features. In 1898 he found Saturn's ninth moon, Phoebe; this was the first satellite to be discovered using photographic means.

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Keywords: america, american, astronomer, astronomy, black-and-white, debunker, disoverer, historical, history, hypothetical planet, male, man, mars canals, monochrome, moon, phoebe, pickering, pioneer, portraits, saturn, saturnian, surname p, united states, us, usa, vertical, william henry

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