Donati's Comet of 1858

Donati's Comet of 1858

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Caption: Donati's Comet of 1858, being observed by telescope from Greenwich Park, London, England, at 7.30pm on 17 September. The comet is at upper right above Greenwich Hospital (later the Royal Naval College). At far left is the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Discovered in June of that year by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Donati (1826-1873), this comet reached its closest point to the Earth on 10 October 1858. It was one of the brightest and most spectacular comets of the 19th century. Comets are icy bodies from the outer solar system that boil and form a bright tail of gas and dust as they approach the Sun.

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