Edmond (or Edmund) Halley (//; 8 November [O.S. 29 October] 1656 – 25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741]) was an English astronomer, mathematician and physicist. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed in 1720.
|Born||8 November [O.S. 29 October] 1656|
|Died||25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741] (aged 85)|
|Resting place||St. Margaret's, Lee, South London|
|Alma mater||The Queen's College, Oxford|
|Children||Edmond Halley (d. 1742)|
Margaret (d. 1743)
Richelle (d. 1748)
|Fields||Astronomy, mathematics, physics, cartography|
|Institutions||University of Oxford|
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
From an observatory he constructed on Saint Helena in 1676–77, Halley catalogued the southern celestial hemisphere and recorded a transit of Mercury across the Sun. He realised that a similar transit of Venus could be used to determine the distances between Earth, Venus, and the Sun. Upon his return to England, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society, and with the help of King Charles II, was granted a master's degree from Oxford.
Halley encouraged and helped fund the publication of Isaac Newton's influential Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687). From observations Halley made in September 1682, he used Newton's laws of motion to compute the periodicity of Halley's Comet in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets. It was named after him upon its predicted return in 1758, which he did not live to see.