The Space & Beyond Blog

A brief history of Halley’s Comet

As arguably the most famous comet of all time, Halley’s Comet has spent millennia returning to Earth’s skies roughly once every 75 years.

By Jake Parks

Halley's Comet in 1986

Although its giant tail can make it appear much larger (as seen in this image taken in 1986), the body of Halley’s Comet is only about 5 miles (8 kilometers) wide by 9 miles (15 km) long. Photo: NASA

The nucleus of Halley's Comet

The Soviet Vega 2 spacecraft captured this image of the nucleus of Halley’s Comet as it flew through the inner solar system in March 1986. Photo: ESA

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