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Encke's Comet of 1848

Encke's Comet of 1848

V700/0321

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Encke's Comet of 1848. Drawing of Encke's Comet (fuzzy white area at centre right), as observed by the British astronomer William Henry Smyth (1788-1865) on 22nd September 1848. This drawing was published in Smyth's book, Speculum Hartwellianum (also known as Cycle of Celestial Objects), published in 1860. This was one of the first books written for amateur astronomers. Encke's Comet is a short-period comet that orbits the Sun every 3.3 years. It was discovered in 1786, but its orbit was first calculated by Johann Franz Encke in 1819.

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