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Happy Birthday, Neptune!

It's now been one (Neptunian) year since Neptune was discovered by Johann Gottfried Galle of the Berlin Observatory on September 23, 1846. Because its orbital period (year) is 164.79 Earth-years, Neptune completed its first orbit since its discovery on July 12, 2011: also James Gunn's birthday! (You can wish him happy birthday at Facebook.) Coincidence?

Wrapping up this year's wonderful CSSF Science Fiction Summer program - including the Science Fiction Writers Workshop, the Campbell Conference and start of the Intensive Institute on the Teaching of SF - got in the way of my remembering to celebrate!

Voyager 2 captured this Neptune shot in 1989. Click the image to see the NASA article about and more photos of Neptune.

I even wrote an article for Steven H. Silver's Argentus fanzine, alongside such science and SF luminaries as Mike Brotherton, Michael A. Burstein, Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, Marianne Dyson, Kurt Erichsen, Brad W. Foster, Heidi Hammel, Bill Higgins, Sue Mason, Christian Ready, Steven H Silver himself, MO Starkey, Steve Stiles, and Diane Turnshek.

Happy (belated) Birthday, Neptune!




( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing. I didnt know Neptune had been discovered that recently. I'd take a look if weather permitted.
Jul. 15th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC)
The reason it's such a recent discovery is that Neptune is so dim (as seen from Earth) that it requires a telescope to observe, unlike all the planets sunward of it.
Jul. 17th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
That is true, but it's still recent compared with the invention of telescopes capable of observing it. Then again, it wasn't really possible to discover it without first discovering Uranus, since its discovery (if I remember correctly) was partially related to trying to resolve anomalies in the orbit of Uranus.
Jul. 17th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Jul. 14th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Neptune!
Jul. 15th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Neptune!

(And thanks for a great conference, Chris!)

Jul. 16th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU for coming! I hope you signed lots of things and made lots of connections.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )