Halley's paper on comets, 1705

Halley's paper on comets, 1705

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Halley's paper on comets. Title page of an English translation and reprint of the paper A Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets (1705), by the English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742). It was in this paper that Halley announced his theory that the comets seen in 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682 were the same object. In the same paper, he made his successful prediction of its return in 1758. The comet was subsequently named Halley's Comet in his honour. The original paper was written in Latin as Astronomiae Cometicae Synopsis, and was first published in 1705 in Philosophical Transactions, the journal of the Royal Society of London. At the time, Halley was Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, a position he had held since 1703. He was made Astronomer Royal in 1720.

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