Edmond (or Edmund) Halley was an English scientist who is best known for predicting the orbit of the comet that was later named after him. Though he is remembered foremost as an astronomer, he also made significant discoveries in the fields of geophysics, mathematics, meteorology and physics.
Halley was born on Nov. 8, 1656, in Haggerston, Shoreditch, London, England. His father was a prosperous soapmaker and property owner. Halley was tutored privately at home before entering St. Paul’s School, where he excelled in mathematics and astronomy.
Halley entered Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1673, when he was 17 years old. He brought with him a fine collection of astronomical instruments purchased by his father. While still an undergrad, he became a protégée of John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal. Halley made important observations at Oxford, including an occultation of Mars by the moon, and published papers on the solar system and on sunspots.