March 13, 1759~ First predicted perihelion(*) of Halley’s Comet

Illustration of a Comet from The Book of Miracles, Unknown artist, Augsburg, Germany

c.1552 / Gouache and watercolor / approx. 9 1/2”x13 1/2” / Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs

In 1705 English astronomer Edmond Halley published the first catalog of the orbits of 24 comets. His calculations showed that comets observed in 1531, 1607, and 1682 had very similar orbits. Halley suggested that they were really one comet that returned approximately every 76 years, and he predicted that comet’s return in 1758. Halley did not live to see his prediction come true (he died in 1742), but the comet was sighted late in 1758, passed perihelion —(*)closest distance to the Sun — March 13, 1759, and was named in Halley’s honour. Its periodic returns demonstrated that it was in orbit around the Sun and, thus, that at least some comets were members of the solar system.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Halleys-Comet

Previous March 13 posts:

March 13~ Women’s History Month in visual arts

Al Jaffee: Born March 13, 1921

William James Glackens: March 13, 1870-May 22, 1938

March 13~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 3/13~

2 thoughts on “March 13, 1759~ First predicted perihelion(*) of Halley’s Comet

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