1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Edmund Halley (Grades 5 - 8)

Astronomer - Comet Man

By

Edmund Halley

Edmund Halley

Public Domain
Edmund Halley was born October 29, 1656 in Haggerston, Shoreditch, England. This is near London. His father, also Edmund, was a wealthy soap-maker in London, who also owned many of properties in London, from which he collected a tidy sum for rent.

Young Edmund Halley was home-schooled for many years until he entered Saint Pauls School. He did very well in school and got into college when he was 17. He attended Queen's College Oxford. He was already an expert astronomer and owned a lot of astronomy equipment, which were purchased for him by his father.

During college, Edmund Halley worked with the Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. He catalogued many of the stars which can be seen from the southern hemisphere (the southern half of the Earth), while Flamsteed worked on the northern stars.

He did a lot of other great things in his life, but he is best known for figuring something out about some comets.

People had seen comets in the years 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682. After studying records about these comets, Edmund Halley figured out that they were all the same comet, whose orbit carried it back again every 75 or 76 years. Some people did not believe him when he said that this comet would come back in 1758.

Edmund Halley died on January 14, 1742 in Greenwich, England, which is also near London. He did not get to see the comet come back in 1758, like he said it would. He also did not know that people named the comet after him.

Other Versions of This Article

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.