Trivia

Hard

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

Venus
Jupiter
Uranus
Neptune

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 Tumbleweed, An Icon Of The American West, Actually Hails From?

Trivia

Easy

Which Star Trek Character Was Added Specifically To Appeal To Teenage Viewers?

Trivia

Hard

The First Game Console-Based Camera Accessory Was Called The?

Trivia

Easy

Naturally Occurring Rubber Is What Color?

Trivia

Easy

What Peculiar Objects Were Launched Into Space During the 1960s to Facilitate Military Communication?

Trivia

Hard

If You Want To Survive An Unprotected Spacewalk You’d Better Not?

Trivia

Easy

In World War II, A Nazi Submarine Was Accidentally Sunk By?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Most Abundant Fish On Earth Is The?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Flying Creature In History Was The?

Trivia

Easy

What Was The First Computer Virus?