Did Halley really discover the "Halley's Comet"?
Edmond Halley who was a mathematician is credited for discovering the "Halley's Comet" but was he the first to discover it?
Halley's Comet is undoubtedly the most famous comet of all. We have heard of it at some stage of our lives. Did you know that Halley was not the person who first discovered it? It was first supposed to have been discovered by Chinese astronomers in the year 240BC.
After examining the reports of a comet in 1531, 1607 and 1682 Halley predicted that these were the same comet and it will return in 1758. Sadly though he didn't live to see his prediction become a reality. According to his calculations, the comet returns every 75 years. He used Newton's law of gravity to make this prediction.
Isaac Newton | Image: telegraph.co.uk
Edmond Halley who is an Englishman was a mathematician, an astronomer, a geophysicist and a meterologist. His calculations were significant in discovering the comet which was named after him, rightfully so. Halley's comet has a nucleus of about 15km but its atmosphere is 100,000km which is quite impressive in comparison with the nucleus. It consists of dust, water, carbon dioxide and ammonia. Halley's comet or 1P/Halley has been in the solar system for around 200,000 years.
Edmond Halley | image: wikipedia.org
During its visit in 1986 telescopes and spacecraft were used to observe it. This comet is very much visible to the naked eye and it has a glow which is caused by the Sun.
Halley's comet was thought to have brought bad luck which was linked to natural disasters and death of kings.