Reader Services Curious Find – The Path of the Comet

Today’s Curious Find once again comes from our regular reader Michael Gilligan.

Mr Gilligan is studying the history of science, and was most impressed by beautiful engravings in Johannis Hevelii’s Descriptio Cometae.

As you can see, included in the book is Fig. D, which is an engraving of the structure of the tail of a comet on various dates:


While Fig. E depicts the path of the comet during the year 1665:


Unfortunately we missed the 350th anniversary of the comet, which was in April 2015, however I’m sure you’ll agree that sharing such engravings is timeless.

Descriptio Cometae, Johannes Hevelii, available at John Rylands Library, SC 13129E.

If you would like to consult any of our collections in our reading room, please contact the Reader Engagement Team at

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