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Edmond Halley

Portrait by [[Richard Phillips (English painter)|Richard Phillips]], before 1722 Edmond (or Edmund) Halley, FRS (; – ) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed in 1720.

From an observatory he constructed on Saint Helena, Halley recorded a transit of Mercury across the Sun. He realised a similar transit of Venus could be used to determine the size of the Solar System. He also used his observations to expand contemporary star maps. He aided in observationally proving Isaac Newton's laws of motion, and funded the publication of Newton's influential ''Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica''. From his September 1682 observations, he used the 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.

Beginning in 1698, he made sailing expeditions and made observations on the conditions of terrestrial magnetism. In 1718, he discovered the proper motion of the "fixed" stars.
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