ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Great Comet of 1861. Drawing, published in Les Cometes (1875), by the French author Amedee Guillemin (1826-1893), of the Great Comet of 1861. This comet, one of the largest and brightest of the 19th century, was visible to the naked eye for three months in the Northern Hemisphere from June to August 1861. It was discovered by astronomer John Tebbutt observing from Australia, and was notable for its position, seen here, close to the horizon. At its closest approach, the Earth passed through the tail of this comet. The period of its orbit was calculated to be 400 years.
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