SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Edmond Halley. Historical portrait of the British astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742). 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 of the Royal Society and was appointed Astronomer Royal in 1720. 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.
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