Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Neptune "For what could be more beautiful than the heavens which contain all beautiful things." Nicholas Copernicus, 1543         Neptune, who's name is derived from the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes is the eighth planet from the Sun, at least most of the time! Upon research, we learned a lot of interesting facts and information about this strange blue planet.

        Neptune was discovered in a different manner than the majority of the planets were. It was not discovered by simply looking into the night sky- it was initially discovered by the use of mathematics. After scientists discovered Uranus, they had trouble figuring out it's unusual orbit. Therefore, they realized that there must be a planet farther out than Uranus. Through looking at the "SpaceLink" website, we learned that, "French astronomer Leverrier and English astronomer John Couch Adams made the mathematical calculations of where Neptune should be and German astronomer Johann Galle observed it."

(Discovering Neptune) Since the discovery of Neptune, astronomers have made significant advances in the study of this planet.

"Sky and Telescope" had an interesting article about the creation of Neptune. In the article entitled, "Creating Uranus and Neptune" (p. 24) it is suggested that the orbit Neptune is in was not its original placement in the solar system. Researchers think that since Neptune is so far from the Sun, it is unlikely to have become the size that it is now in the amount of time that the solar system has been in existence. It is thought that Neptune may have been formed closer to the Sun, enabling it to gather the mass that it has currently. Given the gravity from Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune may have been forced out of its orbit, which led to it settling in the orbit that it is now in.

        The trip...