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Comet Halley – the most famous comet of all human history

Halley’s Comet is visible from Earth every 75–76 years, making it possible for a human to see it twice in his or her lifetime. It last appeared in the inner Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.

Halley’s returns to the inner Solar System have been observed and recorded by astronomers since at least 240 BC. Clear records of the comet’s appearances were made by Chinese, Babylonian, and medieval European chroniclers, but were not recognized as reappearances of the same object at the time. The comet’s periodicity was first determined in 1705 by English astronomer Edmond Halley, after whom it is now named.

Images above show the comet’s apparition of 1986, 1910, 1835 and 1070s.