The history of Halley's Comet

  title={The history of Halley's Comet},
  author={David W. Hughes},
  journal={Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences},
  pages={349 - 367}
  • D. Hughes
  • Published 30 September 1987
  • Physics, Geology
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
The history of Halley’s Comet can be approached in three ways. First we can start with the origin of the comet and follow it through its sojourn in the Oort cloud, its transition from a long period orbit into a relatively short-period orbit until we finally arrive at its present position as a typical middle-aged comet with a large associated meteoroid stream. Secondly we can retreat from four and a half thousand million years of history to a mere two thousand years and we can start our history… 

Figures from this paper

Possible Mechanisms for Cometary Outbursts

A cometary outburst is an unexpected flare-up in the brightness of a comet, with the brightness normally increasing by 2 to 3 magnitudes, but on occasion by up to 5. This outburst is superimposed on

Cometary capture and the nature of the impactors

Abstract The inclination-averaged capture probability from nearly parabolic orbits to Halley-type orbits with periods P < 200 years and q < 1.5 AU is 0.0128 for an isotropic long-period source flux

Modeling the past and future activity of the Halleyid meteor showers

Context.We present a new numerical model of theη-Aquariid and Orionid meteor showers.Aims.The model investigates the origin, variability, and age of theη-Aquariid and Orionid apparitions from 1985 to

30 years of the Vega mission: Comparison of some properties of the 1P/Halley and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comets

On March 6 and 9, 1986, for the first time in the history of science, the Russian spacecraft Vega-1 and Vega-2 approached and closely passed by the nucleus of Halley’s comet (1P/Halley). A few days

The magnitude distribution and evolution of short-period comets

The magnitude distribution, perihelion distribution, nucleus size variation and evolution of the short-period comet population are re-assessed. Short-period comets with perihelion distances greater

Activity of the Eta-Aquariid and Orionid meteor showers

Aims. We present a multi-instrumental, multidecadal analysis of the activity of the Eta-Aquariid and Orionid meteor showers for the purpose of constraining models of 1P/Halley’s meteoroid streams.

Formation of Outer Solar System Bodies: Comets and Planetesimals

Observations of massive, extended discs around both pre-main-sequence and main-sequence stellar systems indicate that protoplanetary discs larger than the observed planetary system are a common


John Michell, M.A., B.D., F.R.S. (1724-1793), was the first scientist to apply statistics to the spatial distribution of the stars on the celestial sphere. He was the first to realise that certain



The light curve of periodic comet Halley 1910 II

Photometric parameters for periodic comet Halley 1910 II have been derived from 144 total visual magnitude estimates. The pre-perihelion data are best represented by an absolute magnitude of 5.47 and

First Halley Multicolour Camera imaging results from Giotto

The first imaging results from the Halley Multicolour Camera (HMC) during the Giotto fly-by of comet Halley provide images centred on the brightest part of the inner coma which show the silhouette of

The influx of comets and asteroids to the Earth

  • D. Hughes
  • Physics, Geology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 1981
Knowledge of the size distribution of comets and asteroids can be obtained from two sources. First the planet Earth can be regarded as a detector and the diameter distribution of Earth craters used

The comet Halley dust and gas environment

Quantitative descriptions of environments near the nucleus of comet P/Halley have been developed to support spacecraft and mission design for the flyby encounters in March, 1986. To summarize these