Looking at Halley's Comet, 1835
This charming watercolour, signed by the artist, indicates the popular interest that greeted the return of Halley's Comet in 1835. It shows three men, a woman with a baby and three older children around a telescope set up on a stand on what appears to be a village street, with two figures, one mounted on a horse, in the background and another looking through a window of the house on the right. The telescope is pointed towards Halley's Comet, which appears in the top left of the image. The comet is also being indicated by three of the figures, one probably the owner of the telescope and another a boy directing a younger child. The comet is evidently an object of interest, rather than fear, and the suggestion is that they are being taught some elementary astronomy by the owner of the telescope.
Artist: John James Chalon
Original size: 357 mm x 440 mm
- Image reference: PT1974
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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