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Edmond Halley. Portrait of the English astronomer and physicist Edmond Halley, 1656-1742. In 1679 Halley published the first accurate catalogue of stars in the southern hemisphere. He made careful studies of the orbit of comets considered at this time to be a meteorological phenomenon. Halley recognised that the orbit of the comet he observed in 1682 was similar to the comets sighted in 1531 and 1607. He proposed that they were the same celestial object and predicted, rightly, its return in 1758. That comet was named after him. Halley made other astronomical discoveries such as the secular acceleration of the Moon and the proper motion of the stars.
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