This remarkable table depicts the organisation of the planets of the solar system, the constellations of the Zodiac (their symbols inlaid around the edge of the top) and notable astronomical events of 1851. The path of Halley's comet is noted either side of the numerals '51', its tail extending toward the symbol of Cancer. Halley's comet was not actually visible in 1851 but representations of the planets usually show its very distinctive path. The other comet is probably d'Arrest's comet, which was discovered on 28th June 1851 by Heinrich L. d'Arrest. On the base are depicted the phases of the total eclipse of the sun of 1851, which passed over southern Norway and Sweden on 28 July 1851. The first recorded photograph of a solar eclipse was taken during this eclipse.
PLANETS IN SEQUENCE FROM THE SUN:
From outer orbit: Halley
From inner orbit: d'Arrest
BASE OF THE TABLE:
The phases of the total solar eclipse of 1851.