Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli (1397 – May 10th, 1482) was an Italian mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer. He was born at Florence, the son of the physician Dominic Toscanelli. Paolo was educated in mathematics at the University of Padua, and left in 1424 with the title of a doctor of medicine.
He is noted for his observations of comets and the painstaking calculation of their orbits. Among these was Halley's comet in 1456.
Toscanelli sent a letter and a map to the court of Lisbon, detailing a scheme for sailing westwards to reach the Spice Islands. A copy of this letter and map was sent to Christopher Columbus, and was carried with him during his first voyage to the new world.