Comet's Tale: History/Exploration
DATE: 1858

1858 engraving of a comet over Paris, FranceAn artist named Mary Evans made this picture showing a comet seen over Paris, France in 1858. Notice the artist made two thin lines coming out of the comet. What do you think the lines might be? The word “comet” comes from the Greek name for "hairy star." Does this picture give you any ideas why the Greeks chose this name?

It took people a while to figure out how to predict what path a comet would travel. In the 1700’s and 1800’s scientists learned to calculate the distances and speeds at which comets travel around the sun. At that time, there were no computers or calculators so everyone had to do the calculations by hand! Where in the solar system would you go to look for a comet?


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