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This image of the nucleus of Halley's comet comes from the Giotto spacecraft.
Click on image for full size
JPL

Halley's comet

Halley's comet is the most famous comet of all.

Halley's comet is named after Edmond G. Halley who was the first to suggest that comets were in orbit around the Sun. He suggested that a certain comet returned regularly every 76 years, and was, in fact, the same one which had been observed since 240 BC! In 1682 he predicted the comet would return again in 1758, and sure enough, the comet arrived in March 1759.

For hundreds of years humankind has wondered what the nucleus of Halley's comet was really like. This wonderful picture from the Giotto spacecraft gives us the answer. Data taken by several spacecraft suggests that the comet is mostly made of ice.

Halley's comet is next scheduled to return in 2062.

Last modified December 6, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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