Edmund Halley's Comet
- Edmund Halley was a contemporary and friend of Issac Newton.
He was a talented multidisciplinary scientist and was largely
for persuading Newton to publish his work.
- Halley's analysis of what is now known as Halley's comet is a
perfect example of the scientific method in action.
- The comets of 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682 followed
similar orbital paths around the Sun.
- Each appearance was separated from the previous one
by about 76 years -- which was the period predicted
for the orbit by Kepler's Third Law.
- These events were due to the reappearance
of one object on an orbit which brought it close to the Sun
once every 76 years.
- The comet would return again in 1758.
- The comet was sighted, on schedule, on Christmas Day 1758
and has since borne Halley's name.
- Appearances of the comet have been found
in the historic record as far back as 2000 years.
Created May 14, 1996