Edmond Halley, English astronomer

Edmond Halley, English astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Edmond Halley (1656-1742), English astronomer. Halley is famous for deducing that the comets seen in 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682 were the same object. He then successfully predicted its return in 1758 and the comet was subsequently named after him. In 1718 he observed the proper motion of the stars, which had been thought of as fixed in the sky. He was clerk and editor for the Royal Society. His other achievements included devising and using the first diving bell, mapping the Earth's winds, constructing mortality tables and linking the aurora borealis with the Earth's magnetic field. He was Astronomer Royal (1720-1742), and Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford (1704-1742).

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