HALLEY'S COMET by Norman D. & Walter R. Brown Anderson


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This undemanding overview doesn't get into any heavy astronomy, but the incidental statements--on the piece-by-piece nature of scientific discovery (each is ""based on the work of many, many others""), the interface of inventions with breakthroughs in knowledge, or predictive value as a test of theory--provide a sound scientific perspective. With due attention, then, to the relevant contributions of other astronomers before and since, Anderson and Brown tell how Halley studied the comet of 1682, concluded that comets travel in elliptical paths, and predicted its return in 1758. Irregularities in the cycle have since been explained by the discovery of Uranus and Neptune, and a tenth planet has been predicted on the basis of remaining wobbles. Filled in with material on superstitious comet lore, two contemporary theories of comet composition, and some tips for comet watchers and new-comet hunters, this can function as advance publicity for Halley's comet's 1986 appearance.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead