2061. That is the year that scientists and enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating. A rare chance to glimpse our universe in action. A chance to see Halley's Comet fly through the sky. Today it is one of the most widely known celestial objects, but how did Halley's Comet come to be?
As far back as 239 B.C, texts document comet observation. Babylonians had no idea that the comets they were documenting could be just one comet revisiting Earth multiple times. In ancient times, comets were viewed as a sign of big changes or impending danger. Mark Twain even accurately predicted he would die near a visit from the comet!
It took time and heavy study of the solar system for scientists to realize that a comet could be making return visits. It began with Nicolaus Copernicus discovering that the sun actually was the center of our solar system; prior to this, humans believed the Earth was the center. This revelation changed the thinking of how objects moved through our solar system.
Scientists quickly realized that objects moved elliptically, rather than in straight circles. While studying historical journals, Edmond Halley realized that three of the comet's documentation notes were nearly identical; he noted the similarities from 1531, 1607, and 1682 and concluded it was in fact one comet revisiting the Earth. Halley predicted the next visit would occur in 1758, but sadly died in 1742 before he could witness if his prediction was correct. Despite this fact, the comet was named after him allowing his work to live on today.
Today Halley's Comet is one of the most well-known celestial bodies. A periodic comet, Halley's revisits the Earth approximately every 75 years. A truly amazing spectacle to behold, all eyes will be on the sky come 2061. Check this out for more reading about it: http://www.scientificamerican.com/gallery/is-seeing-a-comet-like-halley-s-a-once-in-a-lifetime-event/.