Q:

What is the connection between Mark Twain and Halley's Comet?

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Quick Answer

Noted American author Samuel Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born on Nov. 30, 1935, shortly after Halley's Comet was most visible on Earth on Nov. 16, 1835. He was widely quoted as saying that he "would go out with it."

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Full Answer

His prediction came true, as he lived until April 21, 1910, one day after the brightest point of the 1910 visit of the famous comet. Generally, Halley's comet has an orbital period of 74 to 76 years; Clemens was 74 years old when he passed away in Redding, Conn. The comet has been documented throughout human history, and is expected to be at its brightest visibility from Earth on July 28, 2061.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did Halley's Comet get its name?

    A:

    Halley's Comet is named after the English astronomer Edmund Halley. Although not the first person to observe the comet, Halley was the first person to recognize that the comet returned to the Earth after a set interval, calculated as every 76 years.

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  • Q:

    What year did Edmond Halley discover Halley's Comet?

    A:

    Edmond Halley was not the first scientist to observe Halley's Comet, but he discovered that recorded comet sightings in 1531, 1607 and 1682 were part of a recurring orbital cycle, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. He published his findings in 1705 and correctly predicted the comet's next appearance in 1758.

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  • Q:

    Which comet is visible every 76 years?

    A:

    The famous comet that returns to our night sky every 76 years is called Halley's comet, or Comet Halley. However, 76 years is an average time for Halley's return; gravitational perturbations and nongravitational effects such as offgassing on solar approach also influence when exactly Halley's comet will show up.

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  • Q:

    How big is a comet?

    A:

    According to the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the nucleus of a comet is usually 1 to 10 kilometers across, and the tail stretches tens of millions of kilometers. A comet’s nucleus is a stable, porous mass of dust, ice and gas.

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