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
Space gives us presents!
Great Christmas gift for fans of astronomy this winter. Comet Catalina (C /2020 US 10) flies to the Ground. Most of 2015, she traveled across the sky of the southern hemisphere of the Earth. November 20 just a few seconds it appeared on the sky of the Northern hemisphere. Watch it at the end of November, it was incredibly difficult. The comet only appeared in the wee hours very close to the horizon. All who are engaged in astronomical observations, you know how difficult it is to see such an object in the starry sky. However, every day the conditions of observation of comets improve. Every night of the comet increases the height of the lift above the horizon by 1 degree, which is two visible diameter of the moon. New year’s eve the comet will appear just after midnight and is visible until dawn. And from mid-January, after the “old New year”, the comet will be visible all the dark.
October 3, 2015, the comet was in the constellation of Centaurus. Photo: Martin Mobberley
For the last time this is the most brilliant and unpredictable comet that visited our Solar system. Comet Catalina came to us from the Oort cloud. Scientists believe that the Oort cloud is formed from comets and the remnants of “construction debris” thrown from Solnechnoye when it was created. 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