Halley's Comet

Halley comet

Surely you have heard of Halley comet sometime in your life and you may not really know how it is and how it works. The truth is that it is a comet whose orbit passes the Earth every 76 years. It can be seen from here as a large bright light. It is one of the shortest-distance comets in the Kuiper belt. Some investigations affirm that its origin is in the Oort Cloud and that in the beginning it was a comet with such a long path.

Some scientists consider Halley's Comet as the first that a human being can see up to twice in his life. Do you want to know the secrets and dynamics of the most famous comet in the world? Read on to find out everything.

What is and what is the origin of Halley's Comet

Halley's Comet Path

Although it is the most famous comet in the world, many people still don't know what it is. It is a comet with a large size and quite bright that can be seen from Earth and that also has an orbit around the sun like our planet. The difference with respect to him is that while our translational orbit is every year, Halley's Comet is every 76 years.

Researchers have been investigating its orbit since it was last observed from our planet in 1986. The comet was named after the scientist who discovered by Edmund Halley in 1705. Studies affirm that the next time it can be observed on our planet is around the year 2061, possibly in the months of June and July.

As for the origin, it is thought that it was formed in the Oort Cloud, at the end of the Solar system. In these areas, the comets that originate have a long trajectory. However, it is thought that Halley's trajectory was shortened by being trapped by the enormous gas giants in the Solar System. This is the reason why it has such a short track record.

Usually all comets that have a short trajectory come from the Kuiper Belt and for this reason, this belt is attributed to him as the origin of Halley's Comet.

Characteristics and orbit

Halley's path through the solar system

Being the most famous in history, it is a comet that has been fully studied. Its trajectory is known to pass through the point of origin every 76 years. This is quite short for a conventional kite. Although it comes from the Oort Cloud, the trajectory is the same as that of all the comets that belong to the Kuiper belt.

In general, the trajectory is quite regular and well defined and, as a result, your prediction is pretty easy. Until now, there is a record of all the years that it has passed since its discovery and, it can be quite right with its trajectory.

Regarding its internal characteristics, it can be seen with a fairly complete structure and made up of a nucleus and a coma. Compared to other comets, it is quite large in size and quite bright. Although it is a black body, it is bright enough to be seen from Earth's surface. The nucleus has dimensions of 15 kilometers long and 8 km long and wide. This is the reason why it is called a large kite. Its general shape can resemble that of a peanut.

The core is made up of various elements such as water, carbon monoxide and dioxide, methane, hydrocyanuric acid, ammonia, and formaldehyde. The total length of the trajectory of this kite reaches several million kilometers.

The orbit of Halley's Comet is elliptical in shape and retrograde. The direction it is following is opposite to that of the planets and with an inclination of 18 degrees. it is fairly well regular and defined, making it easier for study and research.

When will Halley's Comet return?

Halley's comet curiosities

The fact that the British astronomer Edmund Halley was the first who was able to calculate the orbit of the comet does not mean that it was not seen before from the Earth's surface. This comet has been seen from the surface every 76 years. Edmund Halley was able to predict and calculate the comet's path thanks to other sightings that occurred previously.

The first was observed in the year 1531 by Appiano and Fracastoro. It was described as a large, peanut-shaped comet. It had a great brightness and could be easily seen from the earth's surface. Years later, the sighting by Kepler and Longomontanus could also be recorded in 1607, that is, 76 years later. When he was able to see it with his own eyes in 1682, he announced that it could almost certainly be seen again in 1758.

With this discovery is how Halley was called this comet. A recent study that has been published in the journal Journal of Cosmology indicates that the first sighting of this comet was had in the year 466 BC, probably in the month of June to the end of August.

The following sighting was recorded by Chinese astronomers in 240 BC. From that record, it has appeared 29 times to the present with a 76-year trajectory. If the last time you saw each other was in 1986, It will probably be seen again in the year 2061-2062.


passage of comet halley across the earth

As you can expect, the most important comet in history has some curiosities worth knowing. We collect them here:

  • Despite the enormous shine it gives off, Halley's Comet is a black body.
  • Due to the appearance of the comet in 1910 there were more than 400 suicides related to this phenomenon that covered the skies of Peru with a strange color.
  • Thanks to this comet, thousands of books and stories have been related.

I hope that with this information you can get to know the most famous comet in history well.

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

3 comments, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   Susana Garnero said

    I have seen Halley's Comet with my son in 1986, from the telescope of the San Francisco Regional School of the UTN, Argentina. My son was 3 years old. It looked like a barely bright nebula, since, I understand, it did not pass as close to Earth as in 1910. I will not see its return in 2062 but my son will, maybe he can see it a second time (quite a privilege). We are nothing compared to the infinity of the cosmos.

  2.   David said

    Honestly, as far as I am concerned, the comet as it is known is not a comet, I would say that since it only happens 1 or 2 times in the life of the human being, it gives me to understand that it is a kind of extra surveillance of the earth watching the progress of human beings and if we are. Progressing as a race they observe the well being the intelligence reached and they do it every 6 or 7 decades as you cover a ship if you do not want to be easily detected they use a stealth mode undetectable to the radar. And if this comet is of extraterrestrial intelligence the best way is to cover it with fire to be what would happen ?????

  3.   Julio Cesar Garrido del Rosario said

    I am interested in its speed of translation in kilometers per second, and the distance it travels in those 76 years ... A comet is a comet and nothing else, without any mystery, that has nothing to do with aliens ....