Did you know that Edmond Halley was born toady in 1656? He studied meteorology, physics, math, and astronomy. As a young astronomer, Edmond Halley traveled and island in the South Atlantic to catalogue the stars seen in the Southern Hemisphere. He also explained how the observing the shadow of Venus as it passed in front of the Sun could help scientists calculate the size of the solar system. Edmond Halley is best known for observing a comet in 1682. He calculated its orbit and predicted it would return every 76 years. The comet is now known as Halley’s Comet.
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Halley’s catalogue of Southern Hemisphere stars contains 341 additional stars. His work earned him the nickname, the “Southern Tycho Brahe”. The island he made his observations from is Saint Helena.
During his trip to Saint Helena, Halley also observed trade winds and monsoons. He wrote a paper and chart based on his findings. The symbols he used for trailing winds are still used in modern weather charts.
In 1691, Edmond Halley introduced a basic magnetic compass that had a liquid-filled housing and magnetized needle. The liquid helped to stabilized the needle. Later, Halley embarked on a couple sailing voyages to study and observe terrestrial magnetic fields. His voyages extended from 52 degrees north and south of the equator.
Edmond Halley built a diving bell. He and 5 companions dove to 60 feet in the River Thames. Weighted barrels replenished the air in the diving bell. Edmond and his companions remained in the diving bell for and hour and a half. Later improvements to his design extended use to 4 hours.
Edmond Halley proposed that more precise calculations of the size of the solar system and the distance between the Earth and Sun could be made from observing the transit of Venus. While Halley passed away in 1742, many expeditions were made around the world in 1761 to observe the transit of Venus and made the calculations described by Edmond Halley.
Edmond Halley proposed the idea of a ‘Hollow Earth’.
While is calculations were incorrect, Edmond Halley pioneered the idea of using scientific methods to date ancient monuments.