Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet

Posted: February 12, 2017 in Amazing and Interesting Stories, Fun Facts, History, Nature
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Have you heard the story of Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet? Oh, you have? halleyscometThen back away slowly and get the hell out of my website.

Still here? Good. I didn’t like those loser know-it-alls anyway. Let’s move on . . .

Halley’s Comet is famous for its easy visibility and predictability. It’s named after Edmond Halley, an astronomer who figured out that it was the same comet coming back again and again. See, after making a tight cut around the Sun and shooting as far off as Neptune, Halley’s Comet appears in the night sky with its distinctive bright tail every 75 or 76-years, once in a lifetime for most of us poor suckers. It last cruised by in 1986 and is due back in 2061, so I’ll be 105 when it returns. Gotta think positive. kids.

Mark Twain, however, was one of the chosen ones. Twain was lucky enough to have been on Earth for two of Halley’s orbits, but both times he was rather preoccupied. The first time it passed, in 1835, he was being born. Twain always felt a personal connection to the comet because of this, stating:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet. It is coming again, 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.’ “

Aside from Mark Twain referring to himself as an “unaccountable freak”, that’s pretty cool, because it happened.

Sure enough, as the comet made its way past again in April 1910, Mark Twain quietly passed from this planet with it.

That is both weird and awesome at the same time, amirite?

Mark Twain, man. He knew.

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