Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Modern Chinese data fits ancient Chinese records: 8th Century event…comet

Restored from the library fire 1/9/20

A comet collided with the Earth’s atmosphere from the Constellation of Orion on 17 Jan AD 773 with coma stretched across the whole sky and disappeared within one day with ‘dust rain’ in the daytime.

— Old Tang Dynasty Book

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 12.37.31 PM



BBC 2012

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .


30 Responses

  1. hello –

    The neutron and proton release again.

    More importantly, another major group of researchers completely outside of Morrison et al’s influence.

    When these guys and gals get around to the Great Wall of Water and the destruction of China’s commercial fleet in the 1400’s…

    By the way, the dragon makes its appearance in China right after the Holocene Start Impact Event.

  2. Ok, I got the year wrong on that one, that happens to me every year. Also, Madden et al.’s paper appeared on PNAS, although I haven’t gotten a full paper to read, and the initial reporting of it on Examiner (Some guy named Paul Hamaker!) seems to be inconsistent, and perhaps even outright wrong.


    Paul Hamaker @PBHexam Chemist, writer, blogger, too young to retire but did anyway

    Ok, that explains his reporting.

  3. Sorry about the multiple sequential comments but talk about crappy science journalism, this Examiner article uses this guy Paul Hamaker who apparently DOESN’T EXIST, he’s like some zombie robot corpse who’s identity has been stolen!

    No email, no way to comment, this is really rich.

  4. Anyone found a good “Old Tang Dynasty Book” translation link? I seem to have misplaced mine on the bookmarks bar….

  5. George,
    I can’t help but notice that the timing of this event roughly coincides with the collapse of teotihuican, and a period of drought and civil unrest in the rest of meso America.

  6. The Chinese have taken over western industry. Its just a matter of time till they take over western science. Our science is not about finding the truth – its more about nobs slapping each other on the back. Mike Baillie at a recent SIS meeting mentioned the 775/6 anomaly and favoured a supernova simply because it was difficult to think in terms of a huge solar flare. Now, if a comet did come close to the Earth at that time – well, we are in a different playground. The problem appears to be that nobody in the west is mentioning a comet at this time. Why?

  7. Carol –

    I read recently that the Chinese already are filing the most patent applications n the world, so they are already running full speed on replacing the west. Our kids are going to need to study Chinese…

  8. The 773 AD Comet impact hypothesis for the 14C isotope excursion may be short lived, although I just noticed this and haven’t read it, lol.


    A mysterious increase of radiocarbon 14C ca. 775 AD in the Earth’s atmosphere has been recently found by Miyake et al. (Nature, 486, 240, 2012). A possible source of this event has been discussed widely, the most likely being an extreme solar energetic particle event. A new exotic hypothesis has been presented recently by Liu et al. (Nature Sci. Rep., 4, 3728, 2014) who proposed that the event was caused by a comet bringing additional 14C to Earth. Here we calculated a realistic mass and size of such a comet to show that it would have been huge (~100 km across and 10^{14}-10^{15} ton of mass) and would have produced a disastrous impact on Earth. Such an impact could not remain unnoticed in the geological records and chronicles. The absence of an evidence for such a dramatic event makes this hypothesis invalid.

  9. Usoskin and Kovaltsov used cosmic ray intensity similar to that on the Earth. This is several orders of magnitude lower

  10. A Chelyabinsk cousin is still out there, but 10+ times the diameter of the Chelyabinsk object and 3+ times the diameter of the TUNGUSKA object….

    Yep. Bigger than the Tunguska object.


    Swinging on by Earth and just taking a look for now.

    Its not good news to hear about, but we already knew this type of threat exists. Naturally we don’t see some of them till they are extremely close.

    One day the coffee will get spilled. Hot hot owee owee!

  11. I was just told that the famous Gary Kronk book on comets (“Cometography”) does not contain the AD 773-74 event….. Anybody knows why? Who can provide the Email of Kronk to figure out?
    …..By the way, I am just finishing the paper
    on the devastating comet impact in Sumer – Babylonia. The cuneiform tablet record, which Howard pointed out to me last year, is extensive, all the comet flight and impact details are provided … the most amazing cometary document of all times…it truely is spectacular..JS

  12. There are two Chinese histories of the Tang Dynasty. The “Old Tang Book” (the one mentioned in this article) is known as “Old Book of Tang” in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Book_of_Tang). There’s also a history known in English as “New Book of Tang” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Book_of_Tang). Both histories have an entry on the comet of 773. The discussion in this article combines the content of both entries.

    Kronk writes about the comet on pg 120. He says: “The date and location indicate it was seen in the evening sky, implying a UT of January 15.5.”

  13. If one reads the paper, the the authors dating is not very tight, which is crucial to the debate. They date their coral using thorium radiometric dating, and get a date of AD 783 +/- 14. They then note that it is the layer 7 years below this that has the 14C anomaly, making the date 776 +/- 14 years, then they arbitrarily move it to 773 to coincide with the beginning of the 14C excess in Japanese cedar. Then this date of AD 773 then seems to coincide with an entry in Chinese records of the “comet impact”, with it stating that the impact occurred in the 7th year of Dai Zong. As best that I can make out the accepted date for Dai Zong beginning his reign is 762 or 763, meaning that the 7th year of his reign is between 768-770 depending upon whether the 7th year is inclusive. So unless the authors of the paper are privy to other information, then I cant see how the two events coincide.

    Furthermore this paper The Solar Cosmic-Ray Origin for the Rapid 14C Increase in AD775 http://www.cbpf.br/~icrc2013/papers/icrc2013-1149.pdf states the following with respect to the chinese chronicle

    “In the evening on the Chinese lunar calendar day of 11
    Dec. 774, i.e., 17 Jan. AD775, in the east and above Moon,
    there were more than ten bands of white lights like the
    spread silk, penetrating and covering eight grand constellations
    named in Chinese, corresponding to the sky composed
    of Taurus-Auriga, m Gemini, q Cancer, l Orion,
    V Orion, e Taurus, d Hydra and a Leo, and the lights
    were ceased gradually after middle night, as recorded in
    the Old Tang Book – a Chinese Chronicle [7]. The auroras
    described are actually located in a wide region from east
    to west and from north to south in Earth’s northern hemisphere.
    The records indicated clearly that time to see auroras
    is most probably from 5:00-6:00 PM to 1:00-2:00 AM,
    therefore, the event lasted about 8 hours. In Tang dynasty,
    the natural abnormal events were observed and recorded by
    qualified officers, so the records are highly trustable and,
    the work was conducted in the Tang capital Xian, which
    is located in a geomagnetic latitude at lower twenties. The
    low geomagnetic latitude indicates that the solar particles
    which caused very strong auroras are very intense and with
    higher energies.”

    We also know that there was a large 14C excess again in 993/994, but less intense (about 0.6 the energy flux of the 774/775 event) but that the flux was similar to the 774/755 event http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/full/ncomms2783.html

    So if we look to “historical records”, we see the following events suggesting aurora displays worthy of note.

    Annals of the Four masters M992.19 The colour of fire was in the heavens till morning.
    Annals of Ulster U992.4 A remarkable manifestation on St. Stephen’s night, the sky appearing blood-red.

    Thomas Short

    992 In November, for three Nights successfully, the heavens seemed bloody.
    993 On the 7th of the Calends of January, at one a Clock in the Night, suddenly Light Shined out of the N. like mid-day; it lasted an Hour, but the Sky turning red, the Night returned.

    A recent paper on the 774/775 event indicates does a nice review of the literature to date, and shows that it also occurs in siberian and american trees http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL059874/abstract

    So I dont think that 773 is the date of a comet impact, and that the Sun is the likely culprit for the 14C excess.

  14. As the GISP2 temps from AD773 go down further, this is the proof for
    not only a meteorite sighting but rather for a direct cosmic impact on Earth,
    as explained in our papers in detail.

  15. Why does IntCal13 not show a downturn in C14 age at 773? It shows a down-spike at about 800 AD and then a bigger downturn at about 840 AD. Nothing at 773-5 AD. There are at least 3 series that include tree rings from 1403 trees.

    See http://www.radiocarbon.org/IntCal13%20files/intcal13.pdf

    This time period is tree rings, which are counted one-by-one with match-ups of patterns from tree to tree to tie individual trees in with others into a longer series. Tree ring counts are not going ot be off moe than a year or so. So I don’t see how 800 AD or 840 AD could be mistaken for 773-775 AD.

    Anybody? . . .

  16. Joachim, it would be awfully nice if your papers weren’t behind paywalls. Granted, this $20.00 fee is the lowest I’ve seen (other than the ones posted as freebies).

    I don’t say this with any expectation that you have control over this. A great many papers are done by authors already being paid by the taxpayers, and I’ve never understood why these parasitic publishers – above and beyond the journals themselves in many cases – have intruded into this entire process.

    Publishing online is about as costly as me writing this comment. There is no call for demanding $20.00 US up to $40.00 US and more for access to work already funded by taxpayers )most of the time). Journals at least ostensibly DO something for their money – provide reviewers. To my knowledge, these online publishers do NOTHING except post and charge money – even for papers 75 years old and more.

    How this is not parasitism, I cannot fathom.

    If I have offended you, that was not my intent. My venting is against the people like Springer. Who the world could get along just fine without.

  17. In his defense, Steve, Joachim sent me the paper for posting but I have not yet gotten around to it. Will try to do so soon.

  18. Jonny –

    This from your quoted passage: “17 Jan. AD775, in the east and above Moon, there were more than ten bands of white lights like the spread silk…”

    When was the last time a comet’s tail actually streaked far across the skies, easily visible to the populace? Halley in 1910?

    We are almost getting to the point where comets are making a lie of uniformitarianism’s edict that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.

    Will a time come when they insist that since no comets have been seen for X number of years, that they therefore never happened in the past? Or by refusing to say that, do they admit then that things DID occur in the past that no longer occur?

    But TEN at the same time! Holy CRAP! What we all wouldn’t give to see that!

    The internet would be a-buzz with crazy theories then, wouldn’t it?

  19. Hi Steve,

    Regarding IntCal13, perhaps Miyake et al can explain it better from the first lines of the paper

    “The record of the past 3,000 years in the IntCal09 data set10, which is a time series at 5-year intervals describing the 14C content of trees over a period of approximately 10,000 years, shows three periods during which 14C increased at a rate greater than 3% over 10 years. Two of these periods have been measured at high time resolution, but neither showed increases on a timescale of about 1 year (refs 11 and 12). Here we report 14C measurements in annual rings of Japanese cedar trees from AD 750 to AD 820 (the remaining period), with 1- and 2-year resolution. We find a rapid increase of about 12 (permill) in the 14C content from AD 774 to 775, which is about 20 times larger than the change attributed to ordinary solar modulation. When averaged over 10 years, the data are consistent with the decadal IntCal 14C data from North American and
    European trees.”

    So while they are using intcal09, in this time period it is no different from intcal04, or 09, since 13 is merely an extension of the series further back in time, as well as refining much earlier measurements.

    Now if you look at Intcal13 (or 09 or 04), you will see that there is a minima around 1165 BP (remember that BP means before 1950, not 2000 or present day), which is AD 785. I think you may have been looking at 800 and 840 BP in confusion? The problem is that IntCal13 has not got the high resolution to see it due to its “decadal” nature. i.e. the excess 14C is smeared out over at least a 5 year period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe for Updates

Tax deductible donations to the Comet Research Group can be made here