Great Comet of 1680, orbital diagram

Great Comet of 1680, orbital diagram

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Credit: ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Great Comet of 1680. 17th-century diagram by English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton (1642-1727) of the orbit of a comet around the Sun, as observed from November 1680 to March 1681. This comet is known as the Great Comet of 1680, and has the modern designation C/1680 V1. It is also known as Kirch's Comet after its discoverer. It is sometimes called Newton's Comet as the orbital data was used by Newton to verify Kepler's laws of motion. This diagram is from Newton's 'Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica' (1686). The diagram appears in a section on comets in Book 3: 'De mundi systemate' (On the system of the world).

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