By Joseph M. Laufer


          We are increasingly impressed by the various projects that are being undertaken in the name of Halley’s Comet.  Through our own activities at Halley’s Comet Watch ’86 we are providing services to schools and libraries which are encouraging a great number of young people to learn more about astronomy and space.  We have made a special effort to show that Edmond Halley’s discovery was the result of years of research and the successive contributions of other great scientists such as Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo, Kepler and his friend, Newton.  The worldwide interest in the comet and its history makes it an historic event of vast proportions.  We have listed below several projects that go beyond the passing interest in the comet.  We plan to report further on these projects in future newsletters.


HALLEY’S DAY OF HARMONY – a project of General Comet Industries, the aim of this effort is to create a worldwide day of peace and harmony.  According to its founder, Owen Ryan, a New York City Advertising Agent, Halley captures our imagination because “it has the ability to make us feel AT ONE TIME the opposite pull of two very different sensations.  On the one hand, there is a quality to the comet that makes us feel we are a part of it in some mystical way even if only briefly felt deep in our subconscious – yet in that way, it makes us feel very large and very important indeed.  On the other hand, the sheer size of this heavenly apparition makes us aware of how truly tiny and transitory we mortal beings are in the cosmic scheme of things.”  Ryan hopes to promote the comet’s arrival to the average man on the street.  If successful, his efforts would result in a charitable organization to further world peace through 2062 and beyond.


KIDS FOR THE COMET – a project suggested and initiated by Harriet Miller, a teacher of gifted students in Georgia.  The idea is to get children involved in forming local and regional comet clubs to spur an interest in astronomy.  The possibilities are limitless when the ideas of teachers of the young throughout the world are pooled.  The children themselves may come up with unique possibilities for all of us.


DARK SKIES FOR COMET HALLEY – the project of Fred Schaaf of Millville, New Jersey, has been described in this and previous issues of the HCW Newsletter.  The value of the idea, however, goes well beyond the arrival of Comet Halley.   The focus of the project is on the conservation of energy and the elimination of light pollution in addition to providing dark zones for astronomical observing.  Here again, the comet is but a catalyst for an ongoing societal reformation.


          These three projects are the ones we’ve heard about to date.  Undoubtedly, there are many more.  The International Halley Watch itself has already done much to promote international cooperation.  In addition to the worldwide network of amateur observers, the international involvement in the four Halley space probes augurs well for future cooperation.  Future newsletters will focus on this fascinating subject of “comet fallout”.

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