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Great Comet of 1861, newspaper feature

Great Comet of 1861, newspaper feature

C025/0052

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Credit

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

Caption

Great Comet of 1861, newspaper feature. Across top are telescopic views of the head (coma) of the comet. Across bottom are naked-eye views of the comet and its tail. 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. Comets are icy bodies from the outer solar system that boil and form a bright tail of gas and dust as they approach the Sun. Feature published as a supplement to The London Review of 10 August 1861.

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