astronomer who mathematically deduced the existence of the planet Neptune
1845 from the effects of its gravitational pull on the motion of Uranus,
although it was not found until 1846 by J G Galle.
Adams also studied the Moon's motion, the Leonid meteors, and terrestrial
Adams was born in Landeast, Cornwall, and educated at Cambridge, where
he spent virtually his entire career.
He became professor 1858 and director of the observatory 1860.
The calculations to account for certain aberrations in the orbit of
Uranus were taken up independently by Adams and French astronomer Urbain
By 1845 Adams had determined the position and certain characteristics
of the hypothetical planet affecting the orbit, but a search for the
new planet was not instigated for nearly a year at Cambridge.
Meanwhile, Leverrier sent his figure to Galle at the Berlin Observatory,
and Galle, having better maps, was able to find the planet within a
The discovery of Neptune was credited to Leverrier.