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Edmund Halley

Edmund Halley

H408/0308

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Edmund Halley. Coloured historical engraving of the English astronomer and physicist Edmund Halley (1656-1742). In 1679 Halley published the first accurate catalogue of stars in the southern hemisphere. He studied the movements of comets considered at that time to be a meteorological phenomenon. Halley recognised that the orbit of the great comet he observed in 1682 was similar to those seen in 1456, 1531 and 1607. He proposed that they were the same celestial object and rightly predicted its return in 1758. That comet was named after him. Halley also proved the secular acceleration of the Moon and the proper motion of the stars.

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