Halley spotted


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Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology detected Comet Halley on October 15. This is the first sighting of the popular comet as it speeds toward the sun; its 76-year cycle last brought it to our part of the solar system in 1910.

Comet Halley, still more than a billion miles away, was detected ‘as a faint speck in the region of the constellation Canis Minor,’ according to a report in The New York Times (October 21, p. 1). The astronomers attribute their success to use of the 200-inch telescope at Mount Palomar, which is combined with an imaging system built around an electronic sensor—known as a charge—coupled device—containing a silicon chip more photosensitive than photographic film.