Trivia

Hard

Which Planet Was The First To Be Mathematically Predicted Before Direct Observation?

Uranus
Neptune
Jupiter
Venus

Answer: Neptune

When it comes to human understanding of our solar system, first came direct sight, then came optically-assisted sight via telescope, and finally we began mathematically predicting the presence of planets based on the laws of physics.

The first such planet to be predicted by math was Neptune. In 1846, calculations by French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier were used to locate the planet Neptune by telescopic observation. The observation was a huge event within the scientific community as it was a dramatic confirmation that Newtonian physics (gravitational theory) and the accompanying field of celestial mechanics could be used to predict the existence and position of planets.

What’s interesting about the “discovery” of Neptune, as it were, is that the observation in 1846 was not the first time that the distant and dim planet had been observed by telescope. There is evidence of multiple observations over the preceding two hundred years, but prior to 1846, no one suspected it was a planet; Galileo himself merely thought it was a fixed star far outside our solar system.

Trivia

Hard

The Busiest Freeway Interchange In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Easy

The Bikini Derives Its Name From What Unlikely Source?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sea Creatures Originally Lived On Land?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Video Game?

Trivia

Hard

Who, Adjusted For Inflation, Is The Richest Man In History?

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Scientist To Accurately Measure The Distance Between Stars Was?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Movie Theater Staples Was Originally Banned In Early Movie Theaters?

Trivia

Easy

Yankee Doodle Stuck A Feather In His Hat And Called It “Macaroni” To Refer To What?

Trivia

Hard

Baby Incubators, Now A Staple Of Premature Infant Care, Were Pioneered Where?

Trivia

Hard

Corn Farmers Purchase Micronutrients For Their Crops Made From What Unusual Source?