Discovery of a Trans-Neptunian Planet

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Abstract

ON the evening of Mar. 13 (an appropriate date, being the anniversary of the discovery of Uranus in 1781, and Mar. 14 being the birthday of the late Prof. Percival Lowell) a message was received from Prof. Harlow Shapley, director of Harvard Observatory, announcing that the astronomers at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona, had been observing for seven weeks an object of the fifteenth magnitude the motion of which conformed with that of a planet outside Neptune, and agreed fairly closely with that of one of the hypothetical planets the elements of which had been inferred by the late Prof. Percival Lowell from a study of the small residuals between theory and observation in the positions of Uranus. That planet was better suited than Neptune for the study, since the latter had not been observed long enough to obtain the unperturbed elements.

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