In its original form the Titius-Bode law appeared under Bonnet's name in 1766. In 1772 Titius identified himself as the author of the law, but in the same year Bode borrowed under his own name Titius' formulation of the law. Titius attributed the law, wholly arbitrarily, to Bonnet, Lambert, and Wolff. From 1772 until 1787 Bode was practically alone among astronomers to mention the law in its primitive, sequential form, in his various writings. The algebraic, functional form of the law was given by Wurm in 1787. The distance of Uranus, discovered in 1781, fitted well into the law which inspired the search for the missing planet between Mars and Jupiter. The discovery of Ceres in 1801 was a triumph of the law only until the discovery of Pallas in 1802, which produced the opposite effect. Most leading astronomers of the period considered the law as a mere game with numbers.

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