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  • The Creation Of Halley's Comet Is Shrouded In Mystery on Random A Long, Strange History of Halley Comet

    (#9) The Creation Of Halley's Comet Is Shrouded In Mystery

    According to Susan Wyckoff, a physicist who took part in research of the comet at Arizona State University in Tempe, Halley's Comet is completely unlike anything else in the solar system. It's not just that the comet has an unusual route, but it also has an odd ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes

    No one knows exactly why the comet has such a strange makeup, but one theory is that before the comet broke off from its original body (a nebular disc that surrounded the Sun within 10 million years of the its creation), it was "splattered" by a supernova. After breaking away from the disc, Halley's Comet began its lengthy trip through the solar system. 

  • Genghis Khan Believed It Was His "Personal Star" on Random A Long, Strange History of Halley Comet

    (#5) Genghis Khan Believed It Was His "Personal Star"

    Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire, a vast army of disparate nomadic tribes, whose rule extended across modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. When Halley's orbited in 1222 CE, Khan supposedly took inspiration from the comet and believed it was his "personal star." He decided to follow the comet west into southeastern Europe and continue the growth of his empire.

  • The Comet May Have Caused A Decade-Long Winter Starting In 536 CE on Random A Long, Strange History of Halley Comet

    (#4) The Comet May Have Caused A Decade-Long Winter Starting In 536 CE

    According to some researchers, around the year 536 CE a decade-long winter began, and it had something to do with Halley's Comet. Scholars in Europe and Asia at the time reported 536 CE and the following years were absolutely freezing. Their writings describe what sounds like a large celestial body passing across the Sun. This caused a deep freeze, which completely destroyed crops and lead to years of famine. 

    Geologist Dallas Abbott believes that on its trip past the Sun, Halley's Comet broke up; the resulting pieces of debris that fell to Earth created a large dust cloud, effectively blocking out the sun. An analysis of Greenland ice in 2013 from 533 - 540 CE shows "large amounts of atmospheric dust during this seven-year period, not all of it originating from Earth," according to Abbott.

    Researchers also believe it could have been the reason humanity was more vulnerable to "Justinian's plague" from 541-542 CE. That being said, there's still quite a lot of research to do before we can place blame for this theoretical freeze on the comet. 

  • Some People Believe Halley's Comet Was The Star Of Bethlehem on Random A Long, Strange History of Halley Comet

    (#3) Some People Believe Halley's Comet Was The Star Of Bethlehem

    The problem with being the most famous comet in the solar system is that everyone projects their personal beliefs onto you. It's been speculated that Halley's Comet was the "star" the three wise men followed in order to find Jesus, but it doesn't really fit the timeline. 

    It's likely Jesus was born during sometime between 6 and 4 BCE, which doesn't work with the comet's timeline, as it appeared in both 164 BCE and 87 BCE. This doesn't mean the wise men didn't see a comet - it just wasn't Halley's Comet

  • An Amateur Astronomer Believed The Comet Would Set Earth On Fire on Random A Long, Strange History of Halley Comet

    (#2) An Amateur Astronomer Believed The Comet Would Set Earth On Fire

    1910 was a frightening year for amateur astronomers. With the coming of Halley's Comet, people began to fear for the worst and a bunch of wild theories cropped up about what could happen when the comet came around. One amateur astronomer, Sze zuk Chang Chin-liang, wrote a letter to the Engineer-in-Chief of the General Post Office in Greenwich to tell him the Earth was probably going to be burned to a crisp when the comet passed through the solar system again.

    He believed the comet was transparent, convex, and had two distinct poles. He thought once the comet got between the Earth and the Sun, it would magnify the Sun's rays and cook the inhabitants of the planet. His letter arrived from Shanghai two years after Halley's Comet passed the Earth, and we remained unburnt. 

  • (#12) The Comet Has Inspired A Lot Of Fiction

    What is it about Halley's Comet that brings out our ideas for worst case scenarios? People are obsessed about what could happen if a comet did... something, and while the films aren't scientifically accurate in the least, they are a lot of fun. 

    For instance, in Night of the Comet, everyone on Earth (except people who were in lead buildings, the safest places imaginable) are turned into zombies. In Coherence, a dinner party goes wrong after a comet creates multiple realities. And let's not forget Maximum Overdrive - you know, the movie about a comet bringing all of the Earth's electronics to life and forcing semi-trucks to chase down Emilio Estevez and company to the rockin' sounds of AC/DC. In the words of Bon Scott, if you want comet, you've got it. 

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About This Tool

The Halley’s Comet has an orbital period of 76 to 79 years, and the next time it crosses perihelion is July 28, 2061. The Halley’s Comet is The Halley’s Comet has an orbital period of 76 to 79 years, and its next pass through perihelion will be on July 28, 2061. The Halley’s Comet was the first periodic comet to be recorded, and its appearance was well documented in China, ancient Babylon, and medieval Europe until 240 BC or 466 BC, but they didn’t know it was the same comet.

This randomly generated tool catalogs 14 items that you don’t know about the history of the supernatural, including the fact that it once filled our atmosphere with deadly cyanide in 1910, some people believe that Halley’s Comet is Star of Bethlehem and so on, many of which we’ve never heard before.

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