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November 12, 2006
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November 12, 2006




Page: 36/39

Home > 2006 Issues > November 12, 2006

Indian who thought of Pluto first

IF you look up the pages of the Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of France, published in May 1911, you?d come across a paper by Venkatesh Ketakar on an as-yet unknown planetary body that was exerting a gravitational pull on the neighbouring planet Neptune. Ketakar?s paper featured orbital and other key calculations of this strange new planet. He named it Brahma. Almost 20 years later, in 1930, American scientist Clyde Tombaugh discovered it and called it Pluto. As textbooks around the world change with the recent demotion of Pluto from a planet to a ?Pluton? or a ?dwarf planet?, perhaps Ketakar?s name could be added as well along with Tombaugh. A leading American college textbook Universe by Roger Freedman and William J Kaufmann III did that in 1968. The Indian Journal of History of Science recognised him in 1984.

(Based on a report in DNA.com by Shri. Sachin Kalbag on August 25, 2006.)  (FOC)




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