comets have been looked upon
by human beings as being great omens in the sky.
The long tails of comets were sometimes
depicted in drawings as resembling swords
. Even as
recently as twenty years ago, some people had odd perceptions of comets as portents of some great
change. Comet Hale-Bopp
had such an effect in 1997
. Although comets have occasionally put on
fantastic shows in the sky
, Hale-Bopp of twenty years ago was the last widely visible comet, at least for
northern hemisphere observers.
of all the comets in the sky, there’s none like comet Halley. We see it with the naked eye and periodically.
Halley is, of course the most famous of all. We have
of Halley’s comet for over two thousand years.
Images of the comet can be found in
paintings and drawings
throughout history. It even
foretold the demise of King Harold
1066. The Italian artist Giotto made a scientifically accurate rendition of the comet in his
painting of the birth of Christ
are a couple of reasons why Comet Halley has become famous.
brings it near the Sun every 76 years, so there is a fair chance that you will see the comet sometime in your
lifetime. When Halley came by in 1986, it was
not a very good show for us
. The apparition of 1910, in the other hand, was
most impressive. Earth actually
passed through the tail
of the comet which caused
here on Earth. But as long as
you had some
, you would be safe. Right now, Halley's comet is way out past the orbit of Neptune,
approaching aphelion in 2024.