Cosmic Wonder: Halley’s Comet and Humankind


In or about 240 BCE, Chinese astronomers’ made the first earliest known records of Halley’s Comet- describing it as a ‘broom star’‘. Subsequently this phenomenon has swept Earth’s skies every seventy- six years. It’s held an awe for us over centuries. It seems that Genghis Khan, for example thought the ‘comet’s westward- seeming trajectory‘ was a sign that’s should move ‘west, conquering as he went’. 

Then again, what might the comet have seen? There’d be the awe of the oceans the waves of the land, the growth and movement of humankind. Then again, what about wars and peace, buildings and devastation, great minds and family trees? Furthermore, what of those who followed the comet, or those who contemplated or explored the heavens?

Bookwagon loves and recommends Cosmic Wonder: Halley’s Comet and Humankind. Alongside the science of Halley’s comet, described clearly in the conclusion, we’ve its impact and effect across the centuries. Bookwagon recommends this title for sharing, lingering upon, learning from and loving, too.

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Cosmic Wonder: Halley’s Comet and Humankind

Ashley Benham- Yazdani

(Candlewick Press)

Although ‘almost nobody’ noticed the comet’s first visit to Earth, it returned, blazing ‘through the cosmos‘ letting ‘loose its long tail‘ and looking ‘down upon the Earth‘. It seemed to wonder at this planet, with its ‘softly shaped clouds‘ and ‘tumbling oceans‘ and ‘land in all shades‘. What’s more, everywhere the comet’s eye turned was life.
Thereafter, every ‘every seventy-six Earth years‘ Halley’s Comet returns to gaze over this planet, before speeding back and following ‘its orbit to the darkness of space’.
Like What Did the Tree See?, Cosmic Wonder imagines the changes that the comet has realised across centuries. Therefore, we see the evolution of humankind, and our impact upon the landscape. What’s more, the comet’s aware of those who navigate by the stars, and those who gaze and wonder at the might of the universe. Then again, the comet’s eye alights upon war and peace, ‘family trees‘ and ‘great minds‘. Furthermore, its aware of feelings too. However, what of those whose eyes lit upon and discovered this phenomenon, who charted this Cosmic Wonder anew?
Bookwagon suggests that Cosmic Wonder: Halley’s Comet and Humankind is a superb non-fiction, science book to read together, to linger over, to compare and learn from. Alongside offering a timeline of our planet, this book considers essential moments that coincided with the comet’s arrival. They include the first recording of this phenomenon by Chinese scientists, with the Broom Star. We are awed by this fascinating book, which is thoughtfully researched, created and presented.


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