Monday, July 11th, 2011
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Happy First Anniversary, Neptune!

"It's a frozen lump of frozen gases and I suppose not a terribly friendly place. Let's wish it a happy birthday but perhaps let's keep as far away from it as we can as it won't give you a welcome."
British astronomer Alan Chapman, on the fact that tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of the discovery of of Neptune—in Neptunian years, which are 164.79 times longer than Earth years. It was on September 24, 1896 that Johann Gottfried Galle, using theoretical predictions made earlier by French mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (and, of course, a telescope) officially discovered the eighth planet in our solar system, 4.4 billion kilometres away.