"Cometa Borealis: We entered the atmosphere at dusk. We trailed a wake of fire."
Three Galaxies and a Comet, 2007
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumThree Galaxies and a Comet, 2007 - Credit: Miloslav Druckmuller

Howard’s life draws to a close.

Since ancient times, people have believed that the appearance of comets are omens, foretelling notable births and deaths or other significant events. In 79 AD the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, which destroyed the city of Pompeii, was attributed to a comet. Some theologians and astronomers speculate that the appearance of Halley's comet in 12 BC might explain the biblical story of the Star of Bethlehem.

In William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, The Duke of Bedford exclaims: “Comets, importing change of times and states / Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky / And with them scourge the bad revolting stars / That have consented unto Henry’s death”. 

On a lighter note, James Morrison, rock musician and member of the Doors declared: “I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then - whoosh, and I'm gone...and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me - ever.”