• Question: What do you know about Haileys comet and what exact year will it return to Earth?

    Asked by Ella to Aisling, Colin, Laurence, Ned, Niamh on 3 Mar 2016. This question was also asked by Ella.
    • Photo: Aisling Shannon

      Aisling Shannon answered on 3 Mar 2016:

      Hi Ella, Halleys Comet is expected to be back in view in 2061. I can remember when it last was visible, not so much understanding what it was all about but that it was a big deal on the news

    • Photo: Ned Dwyer

      Ned Dwyer answered on 4 Mar 2016:

      I was a child when it last passed close and it was very exciting looking up at the sky every evening hoping there would be no clouds and you might see it. And eventually I did and it was amazing to see something that visits us so rarely. I hope you get to see it next time it visits

    • Photo: Laurence O'Rourke

      Laurence O'Rourke answered on 5 Mar 2016:

      Hi Ella, you’ve picked a really famous comet there. It’s famous because it has been observed by people on earth and recorded since about 250BC. It passes the Earth every 75 years and can get really bright so you can see it at night with its long tail. Its also famous from a spacecraft perspective as there was about 4 or 5 satellites that observed it in 1986 when it last passed. Ok so if 1986 is last time it passed, then 75 years from then brings us to 2061 being the next time. I hope to be around to see it; you definitely will be so enjoy it when it comes

    • Photo: Colin Shirran

      Colin Shirran answered on 8 Mar 2016:

      Hi! Just like the others have said, it has an orbit around the sun of 75 years, so every 75 years we get to catch a glimpse of it! The next time it will swing by for us to see is 2061 when I’m 71! I hope to still be around to see it. I was lucky enough to remember seeing the Halle Bopp comet in 1997! It really was a great sight but we won’t get to see that again until the year 4385! These comets can come from so far outside the solar system that there orbit takes such a long time to complete. We’re lucky that Halley’s comet has such a short one that we get to observe it on a relatively regular basis.