Friday, June 10, 2016

Tonight's Sky for June 9: Johnann G. Gallee is Born (1812)

On this date in 1812, Johann G Gallee, the man who discovered Neptune, was born in Radis, Germany. At an early age, Gallee excelled in academics and eventually became a teacher before becoming assistant at the Berlin Observatory in 1835. Gallee's supervisor there was none other than Johann Franz Encke of comet fame. Using a 9-inch refractor, Gallee proceeded to discover 3 comets and an inner, dark ring surrounding Saturn.

In 1846, using calculations from French astronomer Urbain le Varrier, Gallee discovered the planet Neptune, whose locations was theorized from orbital oddities discovered in the path Uranus took around the Sun, which suggested an eighth, more distant planet.

Following his discovery of Neptune, Gallee would work as both a professor and observatory director. In all, Gallee published over 200 scientific works in a long career. Gallee died in 1910 at the age of 98.

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