I am Emily Halley, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of Edmund. I have followed some of his research and am now ready to tell the story of the comet named after my "grandfather". It is so crazy that he actually was able to predict the return of a comet, but in a sense, it was plausible because of it's orbit and what not.
My grandfather was a great intellectual. He attended the University of Oxford. He also worked with some of the greatest astronomers and mathematicians known to history. Back then, they were referred to as "natural philosophers." Newton, Hevelius, and Flamsteed aided in much of the work that my grandfather studied.
My grandfather should be referred to as one of those "natural philosophers." He studied in a variety of areas. His studies enabled him to work on such things as the diving bell and Magnetic variation, as well as the comet. Not only did he study at the University of Oxford, but was also a professor of Geometry there.
Edmund had a vast amount of knowledge that he used to write about and study "Halley's" Comet. He was able to predict its return although he did not have complete knowledge of the comet.
Today I know so much more about the comet than my grandfather did back then. I know that it has a well defined regular orbit. This well defined orbit is what allows people to predict the return of the comet every 74-79 years. There is also evidence that the comet appeared before my grandfather's time. The comet did appear as far back as before the time of Jesus. There is also evidence that links the comet to William the Conquerer.
During the Battle of Hasting, in 1066, the comet was recorded, or drawn, on the Bayeux Tapestry. At that time, people saw the comet as an omen. The omen was supposed to be a warning of the Normand invasion. This was purely myth.
Today, I have information, that my grandfather would have loved to have while researching the comet. I know that the comet is made up of five parts: nucleus, coma, hydrogen cloud, dust tail, and ion tail. I now have enough information to tell me that the comet is located along the Kuiper Belt. With just a small push from the outer planets, Halley's Comet is pushed into the inner solar system, where it becomes an active comet. I have also discovered that it has a retrograde (clockwise) orbit, which reaches as far out as Pluto.
Halley's Comet was actually visited by five spacecrafts in the past. The spacecrafts that did visit the comet were from Russia, Japan,and Europe.
I can't really tell you that much more about Halley's Comet, considering that my research is, well, sort of unfinished. I really think that my grandfather would be so proud of me for continuing his research. At least I hope he would be. Hopefully, as I discover more about Halley's Comet, I can let the rest of the world know. Until then, I guess I will get back to researching the same things that my grandfather researched all those years, Halley's comet, magnetic variation, gravity, planetary motion, and so much more.