Edmond Halley

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Date of Birth November 8, 1656
Place of Birth England
Date of Death Jan 14, 1742 (85)
Horoscope Scorpio

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Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley, FRS was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed in 1720. From an observatory he constructed on Saint Helena, Halley recorded a transit of Mercury across the Sun. He realised a similar transit of Venus could be used to determine the size of the Solar System. He also used his observations to expand contemporary star maps. He aided in observationally proving Isaac Newton's laws of motion, and funded the publication of Newton's influential Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. From his September 1682 observations, he used the laws of motion to compute the periodicity of Halley's Comet in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets. It was named after him upon its predicted return in 1758, which he did not live to see. Beginning in 1698, he made sailing expeditions and made observations on the conditions of terrestrial magnetism.

Born: 8 November [O.S. 29 October]1656, Haggerston, Middlesex, England
Died: 25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741] (aged 85), Greenwich, Kent, England
Resting place: St. Margaret's, Lee, South London
Nationality: English
Fields: Astronomy, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology, physics, cartography
Institutions: University of Oxford, Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Alma mater: The Queen's College, Oxford
Children: Edmond Halley (d. 1741), Margaret (d. 1713), Richelle (d. 1748)

About Edmond Halley

English mathematician who is credited as being the first person to calculate the orbit of Halley's Comet. He also served as the second Astronomer Royal, a senior post in the Royal Households of the United Kingdom, in British history.

Before Fame

He was a fellow of the Royal Society after studying at Oxford University.


He was censured by The Royal Society when he suggested that the biblical story of Noah's arc surviving a flood could have been caused by a comet.

Family Life

He fathered three children with Mary Tooke: Edmond, Margaret and Richelle.


His contemporary Sir Isaac Newton also had a comet named after him.

Information related to Edmond Halley

  • History of geomagnetism - The history of geomagnetism is concerned with the history of the study of Earth's magnetic field. It encompasses the history of navigation using compasses, studies of the prehistoric magnetic field, and applications to plate tectonics.
  • 18th-century British scientists
  • British geophysicists
  • 18th-century English mathematicians
  • British climatologists
  • 17th-century English mathematicians
  • Astronomers Royal
  • Savilian Professors of Geometry
  • English meteorologists
  • 18th-century astronomers
  • Scientific instrument makers
  • English astronomers
  • English physicists
  • People educated at St Paul's School, London
  • English inventors
  • Alumni of The Queen's College, Oxford
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Latest information about Edmond Halley updated on January 21, 2021.

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