On September 23, 1846, Johann Gottfried Galle, Director of the Berlin Observatory, received a letter that would change the course of astronomical history. It came from a Frenchman, Urbain Le Verrier, who had been studying the motion of Uranus and concluded that its path could not be explained by the known gravitational forces acting on it. Le Verrier suggested the existence of a hitherto unobserved object whose gravitational pull was perturbing Uranus's orbit in precisely the way required to account for the anomalous observations. Following Le Verrier's directions, Galle went to his telescope that night and discovered the planet Neptune.