When Will Halley's Comet Return? [VIDEO]

on January 07 2012 8:01 PM

When will Halley's Comet return? 

Not until the year 2061, according to calculations. Halley's Comet, the best-known short-period comet, is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. 

Halley's Comet is also the only short-period comet viewable from Earth by the naked eye, making it the only one most people have the opportunity to see in a lifetime. Other naked-eye comets appear only once in thousands of years. 

Halley's Comet last appeared in 1986, meaning it won't reappear until mid-2061. 

We've seen elements of Halley's Comet recently, however. The Orionid meteor shower, visible last October, is the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley's Comet. When Halley's Comet passes through the solar system, the sun melts some ice, which lets rock particles break away from the comet.

These particles, or dust, continue on the comet's path, appearing as meteors when they pass through the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Halley's Comet also creates the Eta Aqualids meteor shower, which occurs each year in May.

 

More News from IBT MEDIA