Halley's Comet or Comet Halley (1P/Halley) is the best known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75-76 years. It is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. It was observed and recorded by astronomers since at least 240 BC. Records of the comet's appearances were made by Chinese, Babylonian, and medieval European chroniclers, but were not recognized as reappearances of the same object at the time. The comet's periodicity was first determined in 1705 by English astronomer Edmond Halley, after whom it is now named. Halley's Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in 2061. Originally captioned "Giotto, Halley's Comet of 1301. Detail reveals the manner in which the artist applied tempera and gold pigments to the plaster wall in textured strokes to approximate the visual appearance of the coma and tail."
July 7th, 2014
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