Comets in History

Comets have often been written about and portrayed in history. Some of the earliest comet observations were recorded by the Chinese on oracle bones. Oracle bones were pieces of turtle shells and bones used for a form of divination. Aristotle thought and proposed that comets were an atmospheric phenomena, in other words, not in our solar system or in space.

Comets were considered bad omens until the 16th century. These omens would include crop failures, diseases, deaths of royalty, or other such catastrophic events. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), a Roman natural philosopher, thought comets were the cause of political issues and death. Halley’s Comet made a passage at the same time during the Battle of Hastings in 1066.