Why Neptune is called Neptune?

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Why Neptune is called Neptune?

Neptune occupies fourth place in the size of the planets by their diameter. It is third biggest by mass. Compared to the earth, Neptune is 17 times more in mass. Neptune is at the distance of 30.1 Astronomical units from the sun. Galileo seems to have observed Neptune in the year 1612 during the month of December. He was known to have observed it again in 1613, January. Alexis Bouvard in 1821 has provided the astronomical tables of the orbit of Uranus which is the neighbor planet to Neptune. The deviations observed frequently from the tables said that there was something that was hindering this orbit by gravitational interaction.

Urbain Le Verrier, in 1846 enhanced the calculations regarding the discovery of Neptune and has estimated its position in the sky. Neptune was discovered in 1846 on September 23rd within 1 degree limit of the estimate made by Verrier. After Neptune was discovered, this planet was called simply as the planet outside the Uranus or it was called as Le Verrier’s planet. Initially the planet Neptune was named as Janus by Galle. The scientist by name Challis called it as Oceanus”.

Later Verrier claimed that he had the right to name the planet as he has discovered it. He has given the name of Neptune to it. He said that this name was approved by Bureau des Longitudes which is a French organization. Later, he wanted to name the planet with his name. But, people outside France did not accept this thought. The French people gave the name as Herschel for the planet Uranus using the name of its discoverer. The new planet was also named as Leverrier. Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences was reported with the name Neptune by Struve. This name Neptune was accepted internationally. In the Roman mythology, the god of sea was named as Neptune which was identified as Greek Poseidon.

Author: Hari M

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