From an article in Higher Perspective (source): Space can be a real mystery. We’re discovering new things all the time, even here in our own solar system. We didn’t know of most of Neptune’s 14 moons until Voyager 2 passed by – and after. So could it be that there are undiscovered planets still in our solar system? I suppose it’s fairly unlikely, but there are two tales of phantom planets; seen once or twice, then never again.
On October 9, 1819, a German astronomer in Augsburg by the name of Stark observed an unknown planet crossing the sun’s disk. He saw it again on February 12, 1820. He described it as “a singular and well-defined circular spot with indications of an atmosphere, which was not visible in the evening of the same day.” This planet has not been seen since.
On March 26, 1859, a French country doctor and amateur astronomer Edmond Lescarbault observed a planet closer to the sun than Mercury. He claims he watched it begin its transit across the sun’s disk and, after a brief interruption, completed timing the transit. His story was so compelling that Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, the foremost astronomer of France, believed it existed. He thought perhaps the existence of this planet, named Vulcan, would explain Mercury’s perihelion, or its closest point to the sun. Vulcan has never been proven to exist and most modern astronomers think the two French astronomers must have been mistaken.
Do you suppose these planets could exist? Could they be the same planet? Were they mistaken or have we not looked hard enough?
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