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John Couch Adams, British astronomer

John Couch Adams, British astronomer

H401/0155

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

John Couch Adams (1819-1892), British astronomer and calculator of the position of the planet Neptune. It was noticed that Uranus was deviating from its calculated orbital path, implying the presence of another large planet nearby. In 1841, Adams set about trying to calculate this planet's position. In 1845, he presented his results to the Astronomer Royal, George Airy, who ignored them. In 1846, the French astronomer Urbain Leverrier published the same results based on his own calculations, allowing Johann Galle in Berlin to discover the planet. Leverrier initially took the glory. Adams shyly declined a knighthood when it was pointed out that he had done the work before.

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