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For Just How Long Has the Periodicity of Halley's Comet Been Known?

  1. Jun 28, 2012 #1
    I was just reading up about Halley's Comet in Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley's_Comet[/PLAIN] [Broken] ), and I came across the following two items:

    "The possibility has been raised that 1st-century Jewish astronomers had already recognized Halley's Comet as periodic.[26] This theory notes a passage in the Talmud[27] which refers to "a star which appears once in seventy years that makes the captains of the ships err."[28]"


    "This appearance of the comet is also noted in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Eilmer of Malmesbury may have seen Halley previously in 989, as he wrote of it in 1066: "You've come, have you? ... You've come, you source of tears to many mothers, you evil. I hate you! It is long since I saw you; but as I see you now you are much more terrible, for I see you brandishing the downfall of my country. I hate you!"[64]"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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  3. Jun 29, 2012 #2


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    from http://halakhah.com/horayoth/horayoth_10.html#chapter_iii (nezikin, tractate horayoth, chapter 3 (הוריות פרק ג), gemara (גמרא), at folio 10b (י,ב)) …

    The latter answered him, 'A certain star rises once in seventy years and leads the sailors astray, and I suspected it might rise and lead us astray.'​

    the original babylonian aramaic of the words in bold (from http://www.mechon-mamre.org/b/l/l4803.htmor is this a hebrew translation? :confused:) is …

    כוכב אחד לשבעים שנה עולה ומתעה את <הספינות> [הספנים

    which google-translate renders (from hebrew) as
    One star rises and seventy years misleading the <ships> [sailors]​
  4. Jun 29, 2012 #3
    Thanks! :smile:
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