Halley’s comet is a bright, unique comet with a period of return to the Sun of about 75-76 years, which is visible even to the naked eye. The official astronomical name of this celestial body – 1P/Halley. For the comet Halley for the first time managed to determine the elliptical orbit and set the frequency of motion in the Solar system than did the Englishman Edmond Halley (1656-1742) the astronomer Royal, physicist, geophysicist, meteorologist, mathematician and demographer, in whose honor was named the comet.
In ancient times, people observed the appearance of Halley’s comet, but did not suspect that I see the same cosmic body. The first surviving written evidence about the emergence of a “heavenly sign” dates back to the year 249 BC, and since then the approaching comet was observed at least thirty times. The last observation of the comet Halley was possible in 1986, and the next is expected in the summer of 2061. I must admit that if an event of this magnitude is regarded as an auspicious time for space exploration, once the appearance of comets were regarded by the people as a “terrible sign” of the coming change, wars, government coups. For the most part, it’s because of “strong world” of those times. It is known that Genghis Khan saw a comet, regarded it as a personal message and a call for conquest of neighboring lands. The same happened in ancient China, and even at the dawn of our era in Europe. Continue reading
Comets fascinate the human mind since ancient people first noticed the white tail streaking through the night starry sky. We remember the date when the comet flies past the Earth once a century or even less often and remember all our lives. In the middle ages in Europe, the appearance of comets was often linked to various natural disasters and diseases. In religion, these heavenly bodies also play an important role. For example, in the New Testament, the comet heralded the birth of Christ.
Astronomers find comets also interesting and fascinating space objects, because they are witnesses of great historical events and even carry evidence of them.
The comet is a relatively small object in our solar system, usually having a diameter of several kilometers. Sometimes called “dirty snowballs” because of their component substances. Usually comets are composed of the following four elements:
Ice (water, ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide)
Some organic materials (e.g., resin)
Rocky ground (optional) Continue reading
In February, continuing a run of parade of the five planets – mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter lined up in the morning sky. In early February, their background will be the sickle of the waning moon, and by the middle of month two of the five planets will become unavailable for visual observations of mercury and Venus, disappearing into the rays of the rising Sun. Jupiter is in its best appearances in 2016. Uranus and Neptune gradually complete its visibility in the evening sky. The sun moves through the constellation of Capricorn, February 15, passing in the constellation of Aquarius.
The moon will come together with these planets: 1 February when the lunar phase is from 0.5 to Mars, on 4 February when the lunar phase 0.2 to Saturn, on 6 February when the lunar phase is 0.08 – Venus and mercury, 10 February when the lunar phase 0,03 – with Neptune, on 13 February when the lunar phase 0.25 and with Uranus, on 24 February when the lunar phase 0,97 – with Jupiter. For observations it is better to choose nights when the Moon is near the full phase passes close to the observed planet. Continue reading