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Great Comet of 1680. Historical artwork published in 1681 of the Great Comet of 1680 over the German city of Nuremberg. This was one of the brightest comets of the 17th century, and had a spectacularly long tail. It reached peak brightness on 29 December 1680. It is also known as Kirch's Comet, after the German astronomer Gottfried Kirch (1639- 1710), who discovered it on 14 November 1680. The comet was also used by the English astronomer and physicist Isaac Newton to test and verify Kepler's laws of planetary motion. The comet is today known as C/1680 V1. From Weltall und Menscheit (Universe and Humanity), by Hans Kraemer (ca.
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