The Planet Vulcan
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On March 26, 1859, a French medical doctor and amateur astronomer named Lescarbault claimed to have observed a planet closer to the sun than Mercury; he called it Vulcan. He calculated the planet's movements and sent the information onto Jean LeVerrier, France's most famous astronomer.
Le Verrier had already noticed that Mercury had deviated from its orbit. A gravitational pull from Vulcan would fit in nicely with what he was looking for. Le Verrier checked other reports and found that other astronomers had also seen a small black disk against the background of the sun. From his calculations Le Verrier came to the conclusion that Vulcan was 13 million miles from the sun and that it took twenty days to circle that star.
Over the next few years others reported seeing Vulcan and textbooks added the new member to it list of planets. Even a bronze commemorative medallion was struck in honor of Jean Le Verrier. His portrait was shown on one side and on the other side nine planets were shown revolving around the sun; Pluto wasn't discovered then.
But there was controversy because some atronomers couldn't find Vulcan. Le Verrier explained it away by saying that most of the time the planet would be lost in the sun's glare. He said that the best time to observe Vulcan would be during a solar eclipse. The next eclipse would be on March 22, 1877.
Many astronomers had their eyes focused on the sun that day but no one could find the elusive planet. A year later two American astronomers observing a solar eclipse from separate places in Wyoming and Colorado claimed to have seen the lost planet. And they were the last persons to have seen Vulcan. If the planet really exists, no one can find it.

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