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astronomer and mathematician was the first to calculate the orbit of the
comet later named after him. He also played a central role in the publication
of Newton's Principia.
While at Oxford, Halley was introduced to John Flamsteed, the astronomer royal. The relationship developed and, influenced by Flamsteed's project to compile a catalogue of northern stars, Halley proposed to do the same for the Southern Hemisphere. By the time he returned home in January 1678, he had recorded the celestial longitudes and latitudes of 341 stars and observed a transit of Mercury across the Sun's disk. Halley's star catalogue, published in 1678, was the first to contain telescopically determined locations of southern stars and that year he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
Along with the inventor and microscopist Robert Hooke, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Isaac Newton, Halley was trying to develop a mechanical explanation for planetary