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Skywatch

Wed Apr 20, 2016 DEATH OF MARK TWAIN

Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died on April 21st, 1910. Twain was born in 1835, the same year that Halley’s Comet made an appearance in the heavens. In 1909 he wrote, “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 comet’s orbit brings it close to the sun every seventy-six years on average, and it was visible at the time of his birth in the fall of 1835; but wasn’t actually visible again to most folks until a week or so after his death in 1910. But there was a brighter comet in 1910, which could be seen in the daytime, in the months just before he died. Perhaps he was thinking of this comet when he wrote, “Death is the starlit strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunion of tomorrow.”