Halley's comet is the thing of legend. Every 76 years or so it revisits the earth foretelling, foreshadowing and foreswearing momentous events in human history. From the birth of Christ to the Battle of Hastings Halley's has been there to witness them, a celestial sentinel checking in to see how we're doing. So when Halley's scheduled 1986 visit approached the world waited with baited breath to catch a glimpse of our cosmic hall monitor. Breathless predictions of a tale stretching halfway from horizon to horizon filled the press. Millions of commemorative t-shirts were printed, viewing parties planned and births timed to co-incide with the harbinger from the heavens.

Unfortunately it was almost a complete dud. Scientists told us it was up there, somewhere, but it was nearly impossible to see without a telescope. What was anticipated to be a once-in-a-lifetime date with destiny, turned out to be more like a cosmic stand-up. Oh well, we'll always have Kohoutek.

Halley's Comet 1986