Comet Halley

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Term: Comet Halley

The most famous comet orbiting the Sun once about every 75 years. The last time it appeared was in 1986, and it is predicted to return in 2061. Its earliest recorded sighting is traced back to 240 BC in China. In 1705 Edmond Halley used Newton's new theory of gravitation to determine the orbits of comets from their recorded positions in the sky as a function of time. He found that the bright comets of 1531, 1607, and 1682 had almost the same orbits. He concluded that these appearances must belong to a single recurring comet, and predicted its return for 1758. Halley's comet is the first known periodic comet, hence its designation 1P/Halley.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan