Valz, Jean Elias Benjamin

Jean Elias Benjamin Valz was born on May 27, 1787 in Nimes in France. He was formally trained as an engineer, but he became intrigued with astronomy, specifically comets, after witnessing the return of the Comet Encke. Before leaving his home to become the Director of the Marseille Observatory, he built a private observatory in it.

He theorized that abnormalities in the orbit of Halley’s Comet could be explained by a planet beyond Uranus. Scientist would later discover this planet and name it Neptune. He devised very accurate calculations for the orbital elements of another comet. He won a prize for this work. Valz died on April 22, 1867.

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