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Which comet is visible every 76 years?

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Quick Answer

The famous comet that returns to our night sky every 76 years is called Halley's comet, or Comet Halley. However, 76 years is an average time for Halley's return; gravitational perturbations and nongravitational effects such as offgassing on solar approach also influence when exactly Halley's comet will show up.

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Full Answer

Comet Halley was named after astronomer Edmund Halley, who, in 1705, correctly determined that the comet would return in 1758. The comet had previously been observed in 1531, 1607 and 1682. The last time Comet Halley was observed was in 1986, and the next time it passes this way will be in 2062.

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