Boskovic over the validity of the latter's method of orbit determination. Laplace's procedure, read to the Academy 8 days after the discovery of Uranus, can be described as follows. If we denote the heliocentric position of the Earth by R and the geocentric position of the comet by p, then the heliocentric position of the comet is r = R + p. Next we write p = pe, differentiate twice, and use the equation of motion (Eqn (8.8), p. 274) for both the Earth and the comet (neglecting the masses of the Earth and comet compared to the Sun):

r3 R3

In this equation, R can be assumed known from tables, e can be found from

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