Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Science News a Century Ago


Halley's Comet A century ago, much interest was shown in the approaching reappearance of Halley's comet, which had last been seen in 1759. Damoiseau in Italy, Pontecoulant in France and Lehmann and Rosen-berger in Germany had all made calculations regard ing it, and had shown that it would be visible again in the latter part of 1835. An American paper, how everthe New York Commercial Advertiseran nounced in the late summer of 1834 that Halley's comet was visible in the east, near the constellation Taurus, and that its distance from the earth was 40,000,000 miles. It also said that on September 13 the comet would be only 22,000,000 miles distant and that on October 6 it would be nearest the earth, being then only three and a half million miles distant. The announcement was reprinted in the Times of October 6, 1834, and it was followed a few days later by a note from an Irish paper in which a correspondent pointed out that the comet would not be seen until a year later. As a matter of fact, the comet was first observed from the Jesuit Observatory in Rome on August 5, 1835.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Science News a Century Ago. Nature 134, 545–546 (1934).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing