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Halley’s Comet

Comet 1P

Proper NameHalley
Orbital inclination to the Ecliptic162.3°
Orbital Period75.3 years
Distance from the SunSemi-Major Axis: 2,667,928,000 km (17.83 AU)
Perihelion: 87,668,000 km (0.59 AU)
Aphelion: 5,248,189,000 km (35.08 AU)
NotesAn important comet following a narrow elliptical orbit that can carry it more than 35 AU from the Sun, but which has been regularly returning to the inner Solar System and shining prominently in Earth's skies since ancient times.

The most famous of all comets visits the inner Solar System once every seventy-six years. At present, it is on the outward leg of its journey, beyond the orbit of Uranus, but it can be expected to return to the skies of Earth in July 2061.

The progress of Halley's Comet between the years 2000 to 2050. During the first part of this period, until 9 December 2023, the comet recedes from the Sun until it reaches its aphelion point - tbe farthest extent of its orbit, marked by an orange circle on this map.

At this point it is more than 35 AU from the Sun, but then it begins its journey back into the inner Solar System. By 2050, when it falls close to the bright star Procyon in the sky, its distance has fallen to less than 24 AU, and it is rapidly returning to the region of the Sun and inner planets.


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