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Edmond Halley - Windows to the Universe

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Portrait of Edmond Halley
The Royal Society Library, London.

Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley was an English astronomer who lived between 1656-1742. Using historical records, his own observations, and Newton's universal law of gravitation, he reasoned that the comets which had appeared in 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682, were one and the same. He then predicted the comet's return about every 76 years. Although Halley died in 1742, the comet reappeared 16 years later, and today bears his name.

Halley is also considered the founder of geophysics. He extensively studied the Earth's weather, magnetic field, trade winds, and tides.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF