Brandt, John C. Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- 1986 apparition
- 1991 outburst
- Associated meteors
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The most famous of comets, associated with many important events in history. A comet is a small body, consisting of rock and ice, whose orbit takes it near enough to the Sun that its ice begins to sublimate, oftentimes generating a bright atmosphere (called a coma) and a long tail. Comets can be naked-eye objects in Earth's sky, and over human history have been assigned various supernatural interpretations and salience. Because of Halley Comet's long-recorded history, as well as being the first to have its return predicted by its namesake, English mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Edmond Halley in 1705, the comet is arguably the best-known of all comets (Fig. 1). See also: Astronomy; Archeoastronomy; Comet; Earth; Solar system; Sun
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