Bouvard, Alexis (1767–1843)
Alexis Bouvard was a French astronomer and mathematician, who was born in a hut
in Chamonix and grew up a shepherd boy. He went to Paris, taught himself
mathematics, and was appointed assistant to Pierre Laplace.
He discovered several comets and drew up tables of the planets, which led
him to notice that Uranus moved in a way
that couldn't be completely explained as a result of the gravitational pulls
of the then-known planets. Bouvard left it to his successors, however, to
decide if the mystery were due to inaccurate observations or to a genuine
eighth planet. See also John Adams and Urbain Leverrier.