Comets and Aerolites
One of a set of twelve hand-coloured astronomical prints with explanatory card. These cards were first issued by Reynolds in 1846, although he and other publishers continued to produce them throughout the second half of the 19th century. They responded to a perceived market for popular science products and were intended for informal learning within the home.
In the centre of this image is an illustration of the eccentric orbit of a comet, demonstrating that the tail points away from the sun. Surrounding this are depictions of twelve comets, numbered with a key below. They are the comets of 1680, 1741 (with six tails), 1811, Halley's Comet, Encke's Comet and six images based on ancient sources. Text at the top introduces Comets and Aerolites and two vignettes at the bottom show meteor showers witnessed in Europe in 1836 and at the Niagara Falls in 1833.
Artist: James Reynolds; John Emslie
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