Le Verrier, Urbain-Jean-Joseph


Le Verrier, Urbain-Jean-Joseph

▪ French astronomer
born March 11, 1811, Saint-Lô, Fr.
died Sept. 23, 1877, Paris

      French astronomer who predicted by mathematical means the existence of the planet Neptune.

      Appointed a teacher of astronomy at the École Polytechnique (“Polytechnic School”), Paris, in 1837, Le Verrier first undertook an extensive study of the theory of the planet Mercury's orbit and compiled greatly improved tables of the motion of that planet.

      In 1845 he turned his attention to the irregular orbit of Uranus, which he explained by assuming the presence of a previously unknown planet. Independently of the English astronomer John C. Adams, he calculated the size and position of the unknown body and asked the German astronomer Johann G. Galle (Galle, Johann Gottfried) to look for it. On Sept. 23, 1846, after only an hour of searching, Galle found Neptune within one degree of the position that had been computed by Le Verrier. As a result of this achievement Le Verrier received, among other awards, the Copley Medal from the Royal Society of London and was named an officer in the Legion of Honour. A chair of astronomy was created for him at the University of Paris. (Paris Observatory)

      In 1854 Le Verrier became director of the Observatory of Paris. He reestablished the efficiency of this institution, but some of the uncompromising measures taken raised a storm of protest that was appeased only by his removal in 1870. On the death of his successor in 1873 he was reinstated, but with his authority restricted by the supervision of an observatory council.

      During his difficulties as director of the observatory, he carried out a complete revision of the planetary theories and compared them with the best observations then available. In particular, in 1855 he took up the problem of explaining an unusual characteristic of the motion of Mercury. He postulated a second asteroid belt inside Mercury's orbit, and, when an amateur astronomer reported finding an inner planet, Le Verrier assumed it was one of the larger of his asteroids and named it Vulcan. Further observations failed to confirm the find, however. The unusual orbital motion of Mercury, which includes an advance of its perihelion, was completely explained in 1915 by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Le Verrier, Urbain-Jean-Joseph — • An astronomer and director of the observatory at Paris, born at Saint Lô, the ancient Briodurum later called Saint Laudifanum, in north western France, 11 May, 1811; died at Paris, 25 September, 1877 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Le Verrier , Urbain Jean Joseph — (1811–1877) French astronomer Born the son of a local government official in St. Lô, northern France, Le Verrier was educated at the Ecole Polytechnique and worked afterward on chemical problems with Joseph Gay Lussac. He became a lecturer in… …   Scientists

  • Le Verrier, Urbain Jean Joseph — (1811 77) Astrónomo francés. Demostró, basándose en el cálculo matemático, la existencia del planeta Neptuno. (1811 77) Astrónomo francés. Le Verrier demostró, basándose exclusivamente en el cálculo matemático, la existencia del planeta Neptuno …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier — (* 11. März 1811 in Saint Lô, Frankreich; † 23. September 1877 in Paris) war ein französischer Mathematiker und Astronom. Er arbeitete einen Großteil seines Lebens am Ob …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier — Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (* 11. März 1811 in Saint Lô, Frankreich; † 23. September 1877 in Paris) war ein französischer Mathematiker und Astronom. Er arbeitete einen Großteil seines Lebens am Ob …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier — Urbain Le Verrier Urbain Le Verrier Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (Saint Lô, 11 mars 1811 Paris, 23 septembre 1877) était un astronome et mathématicien français spécialisé en mécanique céleste …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Urbain-Jean-Joseph le Verrier —     Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier     An astronomer and director of the observatory at Paris, born at Saint Lô, the ancient Briodurum later called Saint Laudifanum, in north western… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Urbain le Verrier — Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (* 11. März 1811 in Saint Lô, Frankreich; † 23. September 1877 in Paris) war ein französischer Mathematiker und Astronom. Er arbeitete einen Großteil seines Lebens am Ob …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Urbain Leverrier — Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (* 11. März 1811 in Saint Lô, Frankreich; † 23. September 1877 in Paris) war ein französischer Mathematiker und Astronom. Er arbeitete einen Großteil seines Lebens am Ob …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Urbain J. J. Le Verrier — Urbain Le Verrier Urbain Le Verrier Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (Saint Lô, 11 mars 1811 Paris, 23 septembre 1877) était un astronome et mathématicien français spécialisé en mécanique céleste …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.