Famous Astronomers Page
Image: Edmund Halley
Image Credit: Halley
Halley (1656-1742) was a British Astronomer, who was the first to calculate
a comet's orbit. He went to the University of Oxford, where he studied
the theories of Sir Isaac Newton. Because he was so intrigued with
these theories, it inspired him to write the Principle which he
published with his own money in 1687. In 1721 he was made Astronomer
Royal and began an 18 year study of the moon's complete revolution through
its ascending and descending nodes. During his life he also wrote
another important treatise called Astronomiae Cometicae Synopsis (Synopsis
on Cometary Astronomy). It was started in 1682 and published in 1705.
In this he mathematically demonstrated that comets move in a elliptic orbits
around the sun and how over time they would pass the same point.
He had such an accurate prediction that when the comet (now Halley's Comet)
returned in 1758, it validated his theory.
August 28, 1998.
unless otherwise credited, are credit of M. Mathis, 1998.