Essay on Edmond Halley: The Man Behind the Comet

Essay on Edmond Halley: The Man Behind the Comet

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The year is 2061. Ordinary astronomy enthusiasts and seasoned astrophysicists alike flock to the darkest, most obscure corners of the Earth to witness the return of what is arguably the most famous near-Earth object in history. This celebrated occurrence is known as the perihelion of Halley’s Comet, and though its observance dates back to at least 239 B.C., the man responsible for accurately analyzing its repeated occurrences and calculating its seventy-five year orbit is no other than Edmond Halley. A human marvel of the Scientific Revolution, Edmond Halley’s contribution to the field of physics is unprecedented. His work has left an everlasting impression on the way we, not only as physics students but as human beings as well, view the world and the vast expanse of the universe beyond.
Edmond Halley was born on November 8th, 1656 to parents Gracey Halley and Edmond Halley Sr. in Haggerston, Shoreditch, England. Halley’s father was a prominent soap maker in London and brought a great deal of wealth to his family. Halley noted his profound interest in astronomy at a very young age, stating that it gave him “so great a pleasure as is impossible to explain to anyone who has not experienced it” His interest in astronomy was likely a result of growing up during a period of widespread scientific and mathematical advancements known the Scientific Revolution. It was during this period of rapid scientific enlightenment that some of the most renowned scientists emerged, including Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Nicolaus Copernicus. The Scientific Revolution and the thinkers who propelled it undoubtedly fostered Halley’s early passion for the sciences.
Although much of their wealth was lost in the Great Fire of London, the H...

... middle of paper ...>.
Hammond, Chuck. "Edmond Halley." Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics. Wichita State University. Web. 25 Mar 2014. .
Howell, Elizabeth. "Halle'ys Comet: Facts About the Most Famous Comet." Space. TechMedia Network, 20 Feb 2013. Web. 25 Mar 2014. .
Mallin, S. R. C. Edmond Halley - Geophysicist. London: Royal Astronomical Society , 1993. Web. .
O'Connor, J.J. "Edmond Halley." Turnbull. University of Saint Andrews, n.d. Web. 25 Mar 2014. .
"Sextant." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. .

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