Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, giving a comprehensive account of gravity. This gave astronomers an accurate toolbox for predicting the motions of planets. But it was not without its problems, such as calculating the precise orbit of the planet Mercury.All planets’ orbits precess – with the closest point of their orbit moving slightly with each revolution – due to the gravitational tugs from other planets.

Source: Timeline: the history of gravity

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