Edmond Halley

Edmond (or Edmund) Halley (Haggerston, London, 1656 – Greenwich 1742) was an English astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed in 1720, at Greenwich Observatory and devoted himself for 18 years to continued lunar observations, coming to determine the acceleration of the Moon.

He began his work on the island of St. Helena, making observations of the southern stars to complete Tycho Brahe’s catalog. He observed 24 comets, including the one that bears his name (1682), and deduced their orbits and periodicities. In 1718 he discovered the existence of the proper motion of stars, comparing his own observations with those of Hipparchus, and proposed a method for determining the solar parallax based on observations of Venus passing over the Sun.

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