Edmond Halley (1656 -1742) made observations of a comet in
calculated that it could be the same body that had previously been seen
in 1531 and 1607. He predicted that it would return in 1758 but by the
time he was proved right he had been dead for many years. It was the
first time that a comet's return had been predicted. Most
astronomers believed that comets moved in straight lines through the
solar system and Halley's idea that it was actually in orbit was a
radical departure from accepted thought.
comes round approximately every 76 years and it has had
number of recorded sightings. It is the star shown on the Bayeux
Tapestry that was supposed to have foretold the Battle of Hastings. It
was also used by Italian artists to represent the Star of Bethlehem,
which inspired the name Giotto for the space probe sent to study it on
its 1986 return. In 1910
it almost shared the skies with the Daylight
Comet, which appeared just a few weeks before Halley came back.
There were two
bright comets that both earned the name "The Great
Comet" because of the length of their tails, in 1811 and in 1843.
Donati's Comet of 1858 had
The background pic
is an artist's impression.