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Memorable Comets

<Comet Halley>

As far I can remember, there has been no great comet appearing in the month of May. My father told met that Halley's comet had come so close to the earth in 1910 that its tail spanned the whole night sky. The comet's crossing of the sun's disk was predicted to occur around May 20. In anticipation of the nucleus of the comet becoming visible as a black spot on the sun's disk, many observatories including Tokyo Observatory were prepared for the occasion. However, nothing was detected and it was concluded that the nucleus would be less than 30 km across. This was proven to be correct by the comet explorer Giotto's close flyby in 1986.
There are many strange incidents related to Halley's Comet in 1910, some of which will be written about in my "My 50 years with Comets" at my web site.

Here I will share with you one mysterious story about Halley's Comet. Some time ago, I found a set of three picture postcards of Halley's Comet in the storage. These photos were taken by Tokyo Observatory during its closest approach to the earth in 1910. The comet was captured from the earth when the earth was going through the comet tail during a miraculous break in clouds in the midst of continuing inclement weather. Who obtained these photos? It will be revealed in "My 50 years with comets".

[The picture postcards of Halley's Comet found in storage]
The picture postcards of Halley's Comet
found in storage.

Copyright (C) 1999 Tsutomu Seki.