Halley’s Comet

Mark Twain, American satirist and writer was born on 30 November 1835. It was exactly two weeks after the Halley’s Comet‘s perihelion. In his autobiography (1909), he said:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

Twain died on 21 April 1910, the day following the comet’s subsequent perihelion.

1. Halley's comet, 1910 http://www.oneminuteastronomer.com/2920/bucket-list-backyard-stargazers-bright-comet/ 2. Halley's comet, taken on May 29, 1910. Credit: Professor Edward Emerson Barnard, Yerkes Observatory

1. Halley’s comet, 1910 http://www.oneminuteastronomer.com/2920/bucket-list-backyard-stargazers-bright-comet/
2. Halley’s comet, taken on May 29, 1910.
Credit: Professor Edward Emerson Barnard, Yerkes Observatory

Halley’s Comet, named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, is arguably the most famous comet. It is a “periodic” comet and returns to Earth’s vicinity every 75 or 76 years, making it possible for a human to see it twice in his / her lifetime. The last time it was here was in 1986, its return is expected in 2061.

Halley’s was captured on camera for the first time during the comet’s pass in 1910 – this pass was particularly spectacular, as the comet flew by about 13.9 million miles (22.4 million km) from Earth, which is about 1/15 the distance between Earth and the Sun.

It will pass several decades until Halley’s Comet shows up again. In the meantime you can watch its remnants every year. The Orionid meteor shower; is spawned by Halley’s fragments and occurs annually in October. In May, Halley’s Comet produces Eta Aquarids shower.


Source: http://www.space.com/19878-halleys-comet.html


About ~ wolfrayetstar

Science enthusiast and visual artist - hobbyist. Begginer in astrophotography and huge fan of nerdy jokes.
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