Google has a doodle up today celebrating Edmond Halley’s 335th birthday. The only problem is, Halley was born in 1656, which means that today is not his 335th birthday but his 355th. At the time of writing, the mistake has been up for several hours.
As someone pointed out in an email, being born in 1656 would make Halley 355 this year, not 335. It’s a small error, but a pretty high-profile one and it’s surprising that Google has still not got it fixed. There’s hasn’t been much comment about the mistake online so far, most people (including us, at first) not thinking to check that Google got its sums right!
Or perhaps the error is a sly tribute to Halley? After all, the former Astronomer Royal was a great scientist, but he was prone to making a few mistakes of his own, such as getting the age of Stonehenge wrong by several thousand years.