Did Earth get zapped in the eighth century?
Artist's rendering of two neutron stars merging.
January 24th, 2013
12:09 PM ET

Did Earth get zapped in the eighth century?

By Sophia Dengo, CNN

History books may tell you that in the eighth century, the Moors invaded Spain and Mayan civilization was on the decline, but they don't say anything about the Earth being irradiated.

That event is not documented, but astronomers say a collision in space at that time could have resulted in the high levels of carbon-14 and beryllium-10 found in trees from the eighth century.

Astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhauser, based at the Astrophysics Institute of the University of Jena in Germany, published results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that suggest that two "compact stellar remnants" - which could be neutron stars, black holes or white dwarfs - collided and merged, resulting in a short-duration gamma-ray burst that hit Earth.

The astronomers started looking into this possibility on the heels of results announced in 2012.

Scientist Fusa Miyake suggested that high levels of carbon-14 and beryllium-10 found in tree rings from 775 A.D. could be evidence that Earth was hit by a flash of radiation around that time. The historical record rules out that the radiation could have come from a supernova or solar flare.

There is no human documentation of this happening in the eighth century. But Hambaryan and Neuhauser have explanations for why not: The collision of compact stellar remnants would have released a short burst of radiation, a couple of seconds in duration, without generating visible light. In addition, because life on Earth didn't appear to suffer adverse effects (for example, extinction!), the merging remnants could have been no closer than 3,000 light-years from Earth.

So what does this mean for us modern-day Earth dwellers? Could another similar event affect us?

Neuhauser tells CNN, "Highly energetic events take place in our galaxy and they could affect life on Earth, but we are protected against risks by the ozone layer."

He added: Electronics and orbiting satellites are more at risk from solar flares than from an event like the burst that may have occurred in the eighth century.

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Filed under: News
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. AgnosticPrime

    That's not true, we all know that Saint Jesus came back and culled his following around that time.

    February 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  2. hoppa

    whoa. exageration. if the world got zapped, we would be dead. do scientists think we're stupid?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • EffKay

      You are. You can't tell the difference between scientist and new writer.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Dr Tom

      Read the article. I think it's explained pretty well. It's all in the amount of radiation.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  3. Jokerest

    Bush's fault. Known during those times as Sir Bush or commonly referred to as Medieval Bush......;)

    February 5, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • qwerty81808

      I still refer to him as Medieval Bush...

      February 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  4. Is j being censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

    Hi all,
    If you are not sure, press enter; It is called enterology, and it is a field of science.

    What layer Of Earth's atmosphere is the ISS in

    What layer Of Earth's atmosphere is the ISS in

    What layer of the atmosphere does the international space station ... answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid... The thermosphere is the biggest of all the layers of the earth's atmosphere directly above the ...

    Controversy over the atmosphere of the Earth WOW

    February 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Is j being censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

      Cut and paste and enter oops thermosphere biggest later oops exosphear is a lot bigger.

      Lets place the scientific method back in the human space program! Not nonsense and worse, spoken and written propaganda over and over become the acceptable truth. I believe we could easily get anywhere this year
      But alas no 1 wants to strap on a dozen boosters in space shuttle...
      And land on a flat on Mars with lots of goods in the cargo bay...

      February 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  5. j was censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

    A few were deleted :(

    February 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  6. j's censored :(

    j's censored :(

    Let's place science back into human space exploration instead of pry

    February 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Geoffrey

    I wonder if such a "zapping" could effect carbon 14 dating calculations?

    February 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  8. Robert Eddy

    An Interesting thought could be: the supernova was on the other side of the sun when the wave hit our solar system and we were partially protected from it by the sun.
    just food for thought since we don't know when or where it happened...

    February 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tad Pole

      Neat Idea, although the chances that the Earth would happen to be in the "sun's physical shadow" at that precise moment is really quite small. Considering that the event being speculated about is supposedly 3,000+ light years away from our sun makes the protected area really really really small.

      February 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  9. Henry Bowman

    IF this was true, then countless other events may have also happened, and has anyone considered that events like this could skew carbon 14 dating across the board explaining many of the now seemingly at odds findings of most history older than the Roman Empire? I don't know about you, but most of what was taught to me as iron clad history in school is now completely wrong.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • bobcat

      Prey tell us.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • bobo

        Are you going to eat him if he doesn't?

        February 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • David

      Sigh... Carbon dating looks at the 1/2 life of the carbon, not how much of it there is.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • Joshua Norton

        What? The half-life has everything to do with how much carbon 14 there would be. The half life of isotopes is constant.

        February 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Simple mind

      Wouldn't additional C14 make things look younger?
      So the Romans would have lived a few years ago.

      February 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Damian

        Yes, that's right. The Romans are alive and living next to the Goths in the next street... O.O

        February 4, 2013 at 6:19 am |
  10. j

    Hello

    January 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Thor

    So there I was on the Iceway, beating the crap out of Loki.... then all of a sudden this streak of gamma particles streaked by. Being a god, I laughed at the puney ray .... "Just another of Loki's tricks!" So I smote him again with mighty Mulnar....

    January 29, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • Loki

      NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!

      January 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  12. Science Relief

    The whole universe is full mystry and all this mystry wants our attention because they also wants to come up in front of us. and Science is the way through which we can find it and can revealed it for our world!!!!

    http://sciencerelief.blogspot.com

    January 29, 2013 at 3:58 am |
  13. lrich_9

    "we are protected from the events by the ozone layer", LOL. Our ozone layer would be destroyed completely if the earth received a direct hit from a Gamma Ray Burst which is one of, if not the most powerful & destructive events that occur in space. They estimated in this article that the burst took place about 3,000 light years away but if a Gamma Ray burst were to occur anywhere near our solar system and earth was directly in it's path, not only would there be no ozone layer left but the earth itself would be obliterated.
    Interesting article though, I think he was just trying to give us a false sense of security by saying that we are protected from these events by the ozone layer since radiation passes right through just about anything that gets in its way. I'd like to see the actual study itself.

    January 28, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • qwerty81808

      You, sir, should just leave. Your hypothesis is based on nonsensical fluff from comic books and your own twisted stupidity. Gama rays do not destroy matter. Please turn your attention to the upper left corner of your web browser, you will see an arrow pointing left, click it, and don't come back.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • SilentReader

        Why is it that people need to attack others for their truth? Gamma Ray Bursts are a fact. Obliteration of life is a fact if hit by one of these. Telling someone to just leave is a childish, impish response. What you SHOULD have done was to ASK him/her where he got the info from so that you could be educated and a civilized discussion could be held.

        February 3, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • qwerty81808

        I never said that gamma rays do not cause death in living things. I said that gamma rays would not destroy matter, which is what he suggested when he said "LOL. Our ozone layer would be destroyed completely if the earth received a direct hit from a Gamma Ray Burst". I never attacked the person, I attacked the idea. The ozone layer couldn't care less about a "direct hit from a gamma ray burst", but the life on earth would. Life would be sanitized.

        He also had the misconception that what we're talking about here is a gamma ray burst. A gamma ray burst is caused by neither collision in space, nor a solar flare. They're caused by huge explosions in stars, AND (theoretically) they can be emitted from the poles of a new black hole. None of you even understood what I was saying; this person clearly didn't even read the article, but decided to go to the comments section and /assume/ that he knew what was going on. There was no chance of a "civilized discussion".

        February 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Dr Tom

        With Gamma rays as with most things, the poison is in the dose. Please attack the idea or the statement, not the person!

        February 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  14. palintwit

    This short burst of radiation is responsible for the Dark Ages, which evolved into what is known today as the tea party.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  15. Bay O. Net

    Scientists don't know if the Earth really got zapped in the 8th century. However, doctors have discovered that longtime comatose former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is showing signs of "brain activity." When asked how much, they said, "Less than a chimpanzee, but more than Sarah Palin."

    January 28, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • retired mike

      Correct diagnosis, you deserve an "A".

      January 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Austin Mason

      OMMGZZZZZZz muh namee is austtin Mason and i am a young rapper who likes to bake cookies with my mom on the weekend i also play COD on Xbox 360 muh name is TARheelSWagger add me and wee will go one v one on the quickscopzzzzzzz N00000Bzzz.... God Dayum do you eevin liiift? <-- thats whatt people ask me and i say i dont

      January 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
      • Az Shavershian

        RIP ZYZZ

        January 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
      • yo

        definition of austin mason people- laZ

        February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  16. clarinet

    History books, as well as this article, also don't point out that the "Moors" were the first wave of Muslims to attempt a takeover of Europe.

    January 28, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • qwerty81808

      This has NOTHING to do with Muslims.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
      • diabhal

        "Everything has to do with everything." — Wilfred

        February 1, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  17. Seyedibar

    The universe sure is one hostile place. One gets the feeling it doesn't want us here.

    January 28, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Jason McCann

      The Universe is not hostile. It is indifferent. We are hostile.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • chris

      The universe is very "hostile" to life, except for within "goldilocks" safe zones where life seems to be protected and nurtured. The Earth is in the right place at the right time, surrounded by celestial bodyguards like the moon and Jupiter that keep Earth more stable and less vulnerable to asteroid impacts. We are quite pampered indeed.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • spacecalculus

      “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
      ― Lao Tzu

      January 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  18. Malph

    I have a suit I made out of Aluminum Foil. I wear it constantly. I am safe.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:24 am |
    • qwerty81808

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but gamma rays will penetrate anything that is thin enough to wear and still be able to breathe.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • NetJester

        This is why I wear a suit made entirely of gamma rays. Who's the fool now?

        January 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  19. normsw

    If it happened before, it may happen again. But man won't know until after the fact, if anyone is still alive!

    January 28, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • qwerty81808

      The article already said that it didn't affect normal life.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • qwerty81808

      The article already said that it didn't affect normal life...

      January 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  20. normsw

    I guess if it happened before, it will happen again, but we won't know when until after the fact, if anyone is still alive!

    January 28, 2013 at 2:32 am |
  21. Richard

    Because of the lack of serious impact of radiation exposure over time in the Chernobyl radiation exclusion zone, scientists are now re-evaluating what they know about the impact of radiation on living systems. Get 500 rads of exposure all at once, it can kill you. Get it over some time and the body will heal from it. Because of the attenuation effects of distance, the atmosphere of Earth, buildings, earthworks, the output of a body emitting radiation at 3000 light years would have to be considerable to cause damaging impacts on Earth.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  22. Charles

    I am heavily invested in cans and string because if it happens again I will have a monopoly on communications.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  23. empresstrudy

    Nope. It was Global Warming. From the future.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  24. Rod53

    Oh No! I see a new episode of Doomsday Preppers coming.

    January 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  25. Zoglet

    What this article doesnt make clear is how the people living back then managed once the gamma ray burst knocked out all their ipods, mobile phones and laptops. I think we should be told!

    January 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Jon

      They didn't have iPods back then they were iStick's and iRock

      January 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • robert12121212

        Isn't iRock like the historic version of NASCAR?

        January 28, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • normsw

      LOL. I agree, and you're funny!

      January 28, 2013 at 2:39 am |
  26. flymoe

    I don't believe it. If we were hit with radiation there would be mutants running rampant in society. I don't see Magneto, Storm, Cyclops, etc...

    January 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Jon

      There are Mutants running around, a bunch just got elected to Washington.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • craig

      mutation takes place over millions of years

      January 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Steve

        Not true. There can be mutations from one generation to the next.

        January 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Wakai

      The anointed one.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • qwerty81808

      That's not how radiation works...

      January 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  27. Mike J

    if it struck Earth , then there should be supporting evidence on our Moon and Mars , both places within our current reach to back up the claims

    January 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • MikeyT

      Great idea! Next step is to check out some of those lunar and Martian trees.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Josh

        Maybe the radiation is what caused Mars to have no trees. Maybe it was a peaceful planet where the Martians could roam free, over the Martian Plains, and their little Martian pets could have little Martian treats, but everything changed when the Radiation Nation attacked! The pets grew into mutants, who, over a few hundred years, turn into rocks, hance those face-looking rocks found on the surface. *haha. Sur-face...* Yup. Think about it.

        January 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Jon

      Mike J. there might be some evidence on Uranus. LOL

      January 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • Venus

        Jon: LMAO.

        January 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • israel

      and if the moon and mars weren't aligned with the earth there would be NO record what-so-ever

      your stupid comment is stupid

      January 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Kenny

      Not necessarily. Gamma Ray Bursts are emitted in a concentrated narrow beam which is why they are so deadly. Its more like a rifle bullet not a shotgun blast.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Mason Myatt

      Gamma bursts are quite narrow in astromical terms. One could easily affect Earth-perhaps even a region of the Earth-and not impact either the Moon or Mars. Scientists know these events happen but there remains a lot to learn about these gamma events.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        If they were as narrow as the earth, we would never, ever see them. They bathe the entire solar system when they occur.

        January 28, 2013 at 2:40 am |
  28. Fish

    Even more reason to combat pollution eroding our ozone layer. Not for those of us currently living but for those who follow. We cannot be so selfish as to leave behind a legacy of global extinction, prudent steps taken now will ensure the preservation of our planet in the future. Who knows how long it will last??? We must ensure the answer will always be as long as possible!!! We owe future generstions our efforts of today!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Kenny

      The class of gamma ray burst discussed here can be absorbed by the atmosphere, however gamma ray bursts emitted from a supernova would obliterate the atmosphere like it wasn't there. In all honesty there is nothing we can do at all to prevent a gamma ray burst from incinerating the planet. It travels at light speed so we cant detect it until it is impacting the Earth, and its the kind of high energy radiation which would destroy people at the molecular level. We are at the mercy of the universe's power for this type of event.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • qwerty81808

        Thank you. These comment threads are full of abhorrent benightedness.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  29. Braveheart

    It's Obama's fault.

    January 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Yossarian

      Thanks for getting that mindless cliche out of the way.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • ChallyFever

      Whatchya mean? Nothing is his fault. Gotta be Bush's fault.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • rob

        obama, bush – its the fault of both of them, one has to assume, following such enlightened results...

        January 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • bspurloc

        nah it was Obama who paid for 2 wars with tax cuts.
        We were e-n-t–i-t-l-e-d to shock and a-w-e, therefore we dont o-w-e anything

        January 28, 2013 at 12:32 am |
      • Democrat = NO Responsiibility

        LOL. Exactly what I was thinking... somehow... it must be Bush's fault.

        If some Democrat ever gets control of a time-machine... God help us! They'll start sending all future blame back through time to George Bush!

        Likewise it is too bad we can't bottle the Democrat ability to avoid responsibility for anything "bad".... that lubricant would probably give us a "perfect frictionless surface".

        January 28, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Jon

      Actually I think George Bush was responsible for it, he was looking for WMD, and hadn't gotten around to Iraq just quit yet. LOL

      January 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  30. Nickuru

    This is not a matter of ridicule. This is legitimate scientific evidence of events in our galaxy influencing planet Earth. Just as Halley's comet in 1912 came so close to Earth, that ";you could read a magazineby its light" Think for example of the giant comet of the 1990s which was on the opposite side of te Sun. What would have have happened had this comet appeared six months earlier or six moths later. Astrnomical have a finality which no amount of politics can cancel.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • James

      six moths later?... Proof read please!

      January 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Wes

      1910 my man, 1910. My dad, born 1894, used to tell me stories about it. I did look the date up on wikipedia though. The date you gave just sounded like it didn't fit with how old I know my dad was at the time. Good post otherwise.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jon

      Yes Nickuru is right be serious, Hey Nickuru maybe it came from Uranus. Maybe we should send a probe to Uranus and see if that where it came from. We could call it Uranus #2. LOL

      January 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Shane

      The comet would also have to be directly in our path (or us it). So it would have to line up with Earth on all four axis's (or at least get sufficiently close enough for gravity to take over and alter its course).

      It isn't unhead of obviously, but the odds are very slim, just because its on the same side of the sun as you doesn't really mean much if it isn't in your line.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  31. gofigure

    Now we know what a billion monkeys with "typewriters" and unlimited time will produce!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Jon

      Answer: What is Congress?

      January 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • qwerty81808

        What a prodigious response!

        January 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Steve Lyone

      The produce and reproduce support for monkeys like Obama.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • duh

      so many people talking about things they don't understand.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  32. JamesS

    I don't think the astronomer said the ozone layer. It protects us from ultraviolet rays, but gamma rays would go right though it. There's nothing that would protect us from a lethal dose of gamma radiation if a supernova went off closely enough.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  33. lovemygirl

    If you ever walk out and see the sky is green, walk back in, head to the basement and prepare.

    January 27, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • Docente

      HaHaHaHaHaHaHa..........Thanks, I needed that this morning

      January 27, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Docente

      hahahahahahahahahaha........Thank you, I needed that this morning!

      January 27, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  34. J. Leone

    Who really give's a f#%k anmyway? will it affect your sleep tonight, or have an adverse effect over the course of your life? think about that for a bit........lol

    January 27, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • popeye1128

      It's called science and learning. Not that you'd understand.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • mike

      Spoken like one who is proud of there own ignorance,....;=/

      January 27, 2013 at 1:41 am |
      • Heather

        "Their".

        January 27, 2013 at 3:18 am |
      • gloucesterjazzy

        his/her, not their

        January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Shane

      Seeing as how we have a greater understanding of how potentially destructive galactic forces can affect us, it may give us a chance to find a way of potentially detecting such an event before it happens, and/or possibly find a way to help shelter at least some of the planet from an event like that in the future.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  35. volsocal

    So, about 140 years after Mohammed died, God saw the rise of Islam and was thinking about offing us and starting over. Probably wishes he'd gone through with it by now.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Hussein

      Wow what a smart person you are. Before you start talking about muhammed pbuh look at his followers such as umar ibn abdulaziz and his companions the lifestyle they lived in.

      January 27, 2013 at 2:41 am |
      • maxmaxwell

        did they marry nine year olds too???

        January 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • qwerty81808

        You're right! Not every Muslim is a murdering, heinous, abominable, hateful terrorist. But it seems to create a GREAT environment for them...

        January 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Rami

      Impressive, you know how to count. Now count to 10 and put up yours bud.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  36. Johnny L

    Article says: "astronomers say a collision in space at that time could have resulted in the high levels of carbon-14 and beryllium-10 found in trees from the eighth century." So that is why so many scientists are so far off when they try to date something using Carbon 14. How it got there, and the levels of it has been influenced by things other than just the passage of time.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • apstar

      There are tiny amounts of extraterrestrial C14 compared to what's naturally existing on earth, so there is no confusion over carbon dating in that regard,

      January 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • JayJ7

        This is probably one of the air brains who learn all their science in Church. They spend a fair amount of energy saying that we have not proved evolution because of errors in carbon dating. They do not even have a clue that carbon dating is only good for 60,000 years and has almost no impact on evolution research, but do they ever think that they are clever.

        January 27, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • letmeeatcake

        most people i have met in church are actually trying to change themselves, which requires humility, not a false sense of one's own cleverness. but yes, there is this big issue of evolution vs. the bible. for an athiest, the main purpose in life is simply to reproduce. i know there are athiests who can make a pretty speech about the significance of life, science and ethics, but it all sounds meaningless if a virus can propogate itself more efficiently than an athiest can.

        January 27, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • Chris

        There is virtually NO "extraterrestrial" C-14. Due to its short half-life, any here on Earth had to be some other element when it first arrived on Earth, and what little does arrive from space (in meteoric dust) decays relatively quickly. This article did not say that the C-14 (or Be-10) came from space, it said that the gamma rays came from space, presumably causing atoms that were already here to decay into C-14 (and Be-10) at a (briefly) accelerated rate.

        Also, scientists have known for years not to assume a constant environmental level of C-14 when carbon dating archeological artifacts. They have studied historic environmental levels to calibrate the dating. The study described in this article may have been undertaken originally for that purpose.

        January 27, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Yossarian

        letmeeatcake, viruses can also propagate much more efficiently than theists can, therefore your statement is irrelevant.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Brian

      @Johnny L, they were able to isolate the carbon-14 to tree rings from a single year. I think they have a better idea what they are doing then you do.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • JLS639

      It is called calibrated radio carbon dating. They reconstruct the amount of C14 on Earth at any given time based on multiple lines of evidence. The late 8th century has long been known to have unusually high C14. It is not the only time period with unusually high or low C14. Go read Wikipedia on radioisotope dating if you are genuinely curious.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  37. Zwei Stein

    The mystery of the Nazca Lines and the Mayan disappearance just might be connected to 775AD.

    January 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • j

      The Maya often recorded dates on monuments they built. Few dated monuments were being built around 500 AD – around 10 per year in 514 AD, for example. A steady increase made this number 20 by 672 AD and 40 by around 750 AD. After this, the number of dated monuments begins to falter relatively quickly...

      Retrieved from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_Maya_collapse

      January 27, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  38. PreachJohn

    Having pursued many times to read thro at length the back and forth banter and tussle of posts and talkbacks, this is one of the funniest ever for me. Acerbic wit, one upmanship, and the art of repartee are all alive and well yet, I'm glad to say.
    I found myself laughing and chuckling a lot. All is not lost. There is hope yet.
    LTMSS-Laughed Till My Sides Split (Cause LMFAO is unnecessarily crude and needs to be retired. )

    January 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • SnafuBob

      You sir, may now have my name, minus the Bob; no matter what response I could give on any post past, present, or the future it couldn't possibly compare to the inane rambling you just left behind...

      January 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • HaHa

      LMFAO at the idiocy of your comments.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • Chris

      I'm almost retired, but I fully intend to remain unnecessarily crude long after I hang up my spurs, thank you very much. And though I post many a thoughtful, informed post to CNN, I am not above the occasional personal attack - there's just too much low-hanging fruit here.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Chris

      "Banter and tussle"? My, aren't we highfalutin'.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • PreachJohn

        Yes Chris, it's too high for you. Sailed right over our sorry head. I'm not surprised
        A general compliment on the general tenor of the posts has only served to bring the smallest minds on this board front and center. You few are bright and chipper, reported for duty, flushed out of the bush. A knee jerk reaction for the less stellar sorts frequenting the subject matter.
        I still think that some really funny people let loose here, did a good job to make me laugh a lot. Thanks.

        January 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  39. Phazon

    Isnt it amazing how we have an ozone layer to protect us from the chaos that is space amazing how everything on earth supports. Life all by complete accident amazing lol.

    January 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • asdhj

      Funny how nutjobs like you dont understand evolution

      January 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • MarkyMark

        Relax, Einstein. You don't have to try and show your superior (doubtful as it is) intelligence with every single comment or reply. Just read the article and take it for what it's worth.

        January 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • biggerdawg

        Funny how intolerant nothings like you with zool to back up their opinion demand respect yet receive none.

        January 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Reticuli

      If it wasn't, then you wouldn't be here to comment on it.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Rb

      I thought the ozone layer protected us from UV light. The magnetic field is what protects us from some types of high energy particles.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • Nicole

        The answer is that both provide protection. The magnetic field is what allows us to have a dense atmosphere (and, thus, an ozone layer that can absorb radiation).

        January 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • Brian

        @rb,"I thought the ozone layer protected us from UV light. The magnetic field is what protects us from some types of high energy particles."

        UV light and Gamma radiation (as well as X-rays, radio waves and microwaves) are all composed of photons. Photons have no charge, and there is no effect on them from the magnetic fields. Certain energies of these kinds radiation are blocked by the atmosphere, including normal levels of X-rays, Gamma rays and long radio waves, as well as a certain amount of UV light. Visible light and certain frequencies of microwaves do get through. Higher intensities of such radiation can overwhelm the ability of the atmosphere to shield us.

        What the magnetic field protects us against are the charged particles that make up cosmic rays, which are 90% protons (hydrogen nuclei) and about 10% alpha particles (helium nuclei) with an infinitesimal amount of larger atomic nuclei. These are all positively charged, and as such, are diverted by the magnetic field toward the poles. This is the cause of the auroras at the poles, as the charged cosmic-ray particles come to Earth in that region after having been diverted.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bag o chips

      Don't forget Jupiter does a good job of swinging large objects away from earth as well!

      January 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • veggiedude

      I believe that's called being an armchair quarterback. We humans have only been around for 5-6 million years. That is quite insignificant to the 250+ million years the dinosaurs ruled the world.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
      • Steve

        You should learn more. Modern humans have only existed for 200,000 years, not 5-6 million. I can't believe how ignorant some people are of science.

        January 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Anthropic Principle

      Not so amazing when you consider that, without those things, we wouldn't be here to ponder our good fortune. We'd be elsewhere, amazed at the good fortune we had there.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Shane

      Look at the size of the Universe

      Look at how many planets we are discovering, and think about how many are very likely to be there.

      So even if life is a one in 200 million chance, the dice are still going to likely come up with life quite a few times.

      And life adapts to the environment if given time. If we were a bit farther or closer to the Sun, or potentially the atmosphere was a slightly different make, then life still may have formed and just been drastically different.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • harry

      The chinese could care less.The pollution in their country.This is the real enemy.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • qwerty81808

      That was the most fatuous comment I've read so far. The ozone layer will not protect you from gamma rays – EVER, simpleton!

      January 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  40. Robert Reardon

    Please note that this was at the beginning of the "Dark Ages" and the decline of the Mayan empire. I always wondered if the two had some causal link. Is this it?

    January 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • The Truth

      Short answer no.

      The Dark Ages were a result of the decline of the Roman Empire in Western Europe over a couple of hundred years. The Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) went strong for over a thousand years until the Islamic Empire (later known as Ottoman Empire) took Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire survived until the end of World War I. Many people think the world plunged into the Dark Ages, but in reality that is only true in Western Europe. The truth is the rest of the world was progressing and for the most part doing very well. American culture mostly came from Western Europe so we tend to just look at them for historical reference.

      The leading theory of the Mayan Empire's decline was due to over population which lead to over farming. The Empire fell apart when the search for new food sources drove the population away from the cities back into the wilderness and just melted away.

      So there is no link, no celestrial event, just coincidence that two large civilizations declined at the same time when this happened. Also during this event the Byzantine, Islamic, and most Asian and African cultures were flourishing.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • HowsThatSound

        At least they didn't go over some mythical fiscal cliff.

        January 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • SnafuBob

        Thank you, well written and as parallel with your name, it is the truth.

        January 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • Leguer Blaise

        Believed every word all the way up to – The Dark Ages were a result of the decline of the Roman Empire

        January 27, 2013 at 1:17 am |
      • raiden3166

        the truth dont forget about climate change to on this issue, what little that ive seen on the history channel suggests... and i emphasize that word suggests, that they were used to getting alot of rain by that time and they started having alot drought. i know how this sounds and looks, but the water they were used to to depend on started drying up. that could also be another reason for the decline of the maya.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • James

      No, but in 535 A.D. there was a great volcanic and/or cometary disaster that was the nail in the coffin for the Roman Empire. It caused severe cooling and subsequently bubonic plague in the following 5-10 years. Weather the world over changed. There were summers without sunlight, no crops grew. The Roman Empire had attempted a comeback just prior, but the plague wiped them out. See the works of Mike Baillie, for instance. Tree ring records and historical texts prove this happened. Then followed the Dark Ages. However, during Charlemagne's reign around the time of this zapping, there were reports of "Elementals" aka aliens who showed themselves to humans and abducted a few, brought them back as emissaries or witnesses. Those abductees were returned but perceived as sorcerers and burned at the stake. Charlemagne had to step in and put an end to it all. See "The Comte de Gabalis" book for more on that.

      January 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • raiden3166

        so what was the volcanic and or cometary impact at that time? this subject i have a little more knowledge on and i dont remember reading anywhere about a 535AD volcanic eruption at that time. if you can point me in the direction where you got that information from it would be greatly appreciated.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • plasticpumpkin

      What The Truth says in response is, well, true. The "Dark Ages" are only from a European perspective. China, for example, was culturally and technologically flourishing, as was the Islamic empire and other parts of Asia.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  41. joey

    what does "8th century" mean ? as soon as any human writes an article implicating historical questions,
    they immediately show their ignorance assuming the christian calender.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • laodegan

      Whether or not you are a "Christian" has no bearing on the fact that this is the commonly accepted timeline and the terminology is used to refer to the year 775, which was 13 centuries ago. Take that stick out of your rear and maybe have a beer and relax.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • ArchieDeBunker

      Pardon – your phobia is showing. . . . .

      January 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • volsocal

      The one right after the 7th century.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • Yossarian

        And right before the 9th century.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Steve

      You don't know what the 8th century means but are calling others ignorant. Irony!

      January 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • qwerty81808

        The only ironic thing here is that you didn't understand his comment. Here's the door...

        January 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      It means the 8th century. Do they not teach the common calendar in your school system, or did your trailer park get kicked out of the district?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  42. RF Burns

    Wasn't this on an episode of The Dukes of Hazard?

    January 26, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • Oscar

      I BUY ALMOST EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOOD AND CLOTHING FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS. MOST PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE OF THE ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE DEALS THAT THEY CAN GET FROM ONLINE AUCTION SITES. THE SITE THAT HAS THE BEST DEALS IS saveBangCom
      and i checked with the better business bureau and was told that it is all legit. how they can sell gift
      cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, i don't know. i do
      know that i bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 loews gift
      cards for $48. why would i even think about shopping anyplace else?

      January 26, 2013 at 9:35 am |
      • HowsThatSound

        Wow, I'm glad that's settled. And I was losing so much sleep over it.

        January 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • gowisha

        You know, Oscar, there will always be mentally challenged people like you around, so the rest of us will just ignore your spam.

        January 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
      • qwerty81808

        The Better Business Bureau is a pseudo-service.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Generally 01

      Yelp, 2nd season, Episode 33... Bo and Luke were caught running shine just as a Scientist came into Hazzard looking for an ancient Mayan artifact that Boss Hogg was hoping to make some money on because it glowed a mysterious light whenever Daisy Duke walked by it. This is one of the "missing episodes" and not that well known, Jerry Reed was the guest narrator, as Waylon Jennings played a small role in the film as the Mayan artifact.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:34 am |
      • blackrosemd1

        I laughed. Thanks for that.

        I'm still picturing Waylon Jennings as a Mayan artifact. Hahaha

        January 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Wayne

        Ha! One of the lost classics of TV!

        January 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  43. wahoo69

    The answer lies in an attic of a house in Langley Falls, Va. Roger the Decider...

    January 25, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • jive turkey

      or perhaps roger the crash test dummy............

      January 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  44. jim slim

    So that explains how Islam started ???

    January 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  45. lightbulb

    Now Piers will want all white dwarfs rounded up and eliminated.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  46. popseal

    Dr. Andrew Wheatcroft has a 'sidebar' correction for the first few sentences of the article. "Moors invade Spain...? Correct reading should be Islamic Jihadists invade Spain, their general said, "I regret there are no more infidels to be put to the sword, if it were not for the sea (Atlantic Ocean), I would go West". "Infidels: A History of Conflict Between Christendom and Islam", has the details of the quote.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • lucianne

      The Islaamists invaded Spain – before the Inquisitors murdered the Jews, and before the Crusades slaughtered the Arabs in the Middle East. Meahwhile, the Eastern Christians and various Muslims took turns slaughtering each other and the Western Christians, who happily slaughtered them back, for centuries. Not to mention the European wars between early Protestants and Catholics. The only people who don't kill each other are people who haven't met. Get over it.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • LAguy

        Actually the Crusades happened about 300 years after.

        January 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • PETA Vegan Treehugger

      The only responsible thing Humans can do for this planet is stop breeding and go extinct. -or- Put an end to religion, at least then we'd have to take responsibility for our murdering, no more giving credit/blaming a God(s).

      January 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  47. Double Pulsars

    Most CNN commenters are not concerned about gamma-ray bursts because they wear tinfoil hats 24/7 to protect their brains from government mind control rays anyways.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Disgrunteled American

      What do you mean protect from Gov control! Have you even read anything they report on?? They are so far up the Gov back side saying yes master !tell me another lie to print and Ill do it gladly!!!And yes no matter how true something is that a conservative says we will make them look Foolish and out of touch hate mongers!!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • Yossarian

        I think your tinfoil hat has a hole in it. Please get some tinfoil and duct tape, then come back when you feel like typing coherently.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • j

      Tinfoil hats only help if someone uses an alpha or beta wave gizmo; They will not help if you get zapped by your computer or other electronic device. Let's place the scientific method back into human space exploration.

      Buzz only proved, "When we are told an unpleasant truth it wells up anger." Pretty sad way to prove a point.

      buzz punches guy

      Buzz Aldrin Sucker-Punch – Video -Metacafe – Online Video ... http://www.metacafe.com/watch/123520 Buzz Aldrin punches a guy in the face who accused him of lying about going to the moon.. Watch Video about Space,NASA, Buzz...

      Retrieved from http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=buzz punches guy

      Wha a way to say, "Was not there."

      January 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  48. tacojew22

    After reading these comments, I have no doubt the earth was zapped.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Ker zapp

      Wonderful – radiation burst – could explain the ancestral mutations in the human genome that spawned the modern day gun toting tinfoil toque wearing CNN posters. Note – this comment is in no way intended to be a slight on hamsters or mice.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • letmeeatcake

        ker zapp, it also explains the adversely affected gonads of what eventually evolved into the domesticated human equivalent of a cow which must be hand fed by its masters; namely the species known as democrat.

        January 26, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Mouse123

        That is very good, since I am a mouse. By the way, I'm looking for the Ultimate Question. The humans we have in our custody are not being very forthcoming.

        January 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Yossarian

        Please ask your question of one Arthur Dent, c/o the starship Heart of Gold.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • BIZC8

      I'm with you tacojew22!

      January 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  49. Whoopido

    So the atmosphere extends 100,000 miles up. " VERY INTERESTING. " If you will be calm and just sit down for a little while, the nice men in the white jackets will be there soon with thier pretty big butterfly net.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • j

      Upper boundary

      In principle, the exosphere covers all distances where particles are still gravitationally bound to Earth, i.e...

      ...This happens at half the distance to the Moon (190,000 kilometres (120,000 mi)). The exosphere observable from space as the geocorona is seen to extend to at least 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi) from the surface of the Earth. The exosphere is a transitional zone between Earth’s atmosphere and interplanetary space.

      Retrieved from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exosphere

      National Geographic states: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/atmosphere/?ar_a=1&ar_r=3

      More missinformation!

      Let's put science back into human space exploration, not punches and nonsense propaganda; Do you agree?

      January 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  50. Hollywood

    Science or science fiction? Call Nova.

    January 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  51. Ron

    Futurama's Philip J Frye, (when hit by gamma rays), Ow! My sperm!

    January 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • phearis

      Try it again ......... hmm, didn't hurt that time.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Disgrunteled American

      Darwin has it all wrong!Man has been slowly turning into neanderthals!!Slobbering ones at that!Just look at what happened by the media at the last 2 elections!!His speaches are sooo Linconess !!SLOBBER SLOBBER!!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
      • Lokari

        "speeches" "Lincolnesque"
        You're welcome.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
      • Fred Evil

        @Lokari – Did you miss 'Disgrunteled'? Or were you trying not to make her cry?

        January 26, 2013 at 5:21 am |
  52. M Houston

    Interesting article. The possibility that a couple of gigantic stellar diamonds like a pair of white dwarfs may have
    collided back there in the 8th century is awesome.

    The fact that CNN's articles always attract such a horde of witless young twits who reveal their stupidity is also
    mind boggling....

    January 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • stateschool

      Dear CNN,
      Shouting down the trolls gets old. I think that we should be able to flag posts in the lightyears blog that have nothing whatsoever to do with science. I understand why it's best that we don't censor, say, an Op/Ed comment section too often, but the trolls now seem to outnumber people like me who would like to discuss THIS subject without wading through trash.
      Sincerely,
      stateschool

      January 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • stateschool

        Seconded, Houston

        January 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • lucianne

        Fascinating that the writers here who hate the article also seem to hate the "liberals". It truly is time for the GOP to stop being the party of stupid, to quote a sensible governor. As someone said on another blog – Tea parties are for little girls with imaginary friends. I wish I knew who to credit for that brilliant insight.

        January 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  53. Simple Facts

    The fact that politics somehow leaked its way in here doesn't surprise me in the least but what gets to me is when you see these absolutely wonderful hypothesis that are based in something concrete or real we get comments like "Hollywood duped dems" or "blatantly racist republicans". I'm sick and tired of the US as a whole. We would rather point fingers and put the blame on something other than ourselves than try to figure out what the problem is in the first place. Im not a democrat, republican or anything of the sort. I am an American first anything outside of that might be lucky if it comes at a 10 in my book. And yes maybe I'm not so proud to be an American at the moment but I'll be damned if I allow generations of sacrifice to go by and watch us continue this non sense that has got us in the position were in. I think our ancestors would be very upset to see what they're payment of blood, sweat and tears has afforded us.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Simple Facts

      The entire section below me proves my point. You'd all rather bicker with ideology as you're main ammunition than actually look at what's going on around you with an open mind. I hold both conservative and liberal ideas so yes Imma bit of a conundrum but no more than any of you commenting here.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • lucifer jones

        You sound like an arrogant crack head! Grow up and smell the molasses!

        January 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • Simple Facts

        You sir just made my night.

        January 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  54. Ole Sparky

    The US is so enamoured with its "black" president lately, that it is living in a panacea of stupidity! As soon as that little pipsqueak Kim Young Un drops a nuke down the Whitehouse chimney, we might just wake up and smell some radiation!!!

    January 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • cc423

      I bet you don't get called an idiot far often enough.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • popeye1128

      Wow, the daily double. Racist and paranoid. Good for you! Why are you even reading a science article? Trolling?

      January 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Disgrunteled American

        Yea! High unemployment!people starving to death!if you say anthing against the leader the Gov. run media will shout you down!!Hay wait kinda sounds like the USA now!!!

        January 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Herbert Hemingway

      You have to envy the people of North Korea. At least they have a leader that is getting things done.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Michael

        Yeah.. sending anyone who disagrees with him to concentration camps, as you'd probably do in the same position.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Aaron Eames

        He sure is! Unless things change, he will lead the entire country into nuclear destruction. Now THAT is undeniably political progression at its finest isn't it? Without politics and religion, this entire planet would stand half-a-chance of becoming a nice place to live. At least they've answered why the heck my old-growth tree rings have that stuff in them. It's been driving me crazy for years, and it's h*ll on my chain saw blade!

        January 27, 2013 at 6:04 am |
    • Michael

      Another teabilly who still can't get over the president being of a different ethnicity.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lucifer jones

      smells like radiation. Isnt Kim Waack-Job just a chinaman?

      January 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Racco

      Right, this must be the updated version of the "mushroom cloud" fearmongering Bush/Cheney was putting out a few years ago. Must be time to invade another country, I guess.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Whoopido

      Very slowly, turn around. Now look in the mirror and say real loud; " IDIOT".

      January 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Disgrunteled American

      I totally agree with you and the guy who made fun of you is a prime example of most slobbering neanderthols! the have to attack the person with a verbal rock necause they dont have the brains to attack the message!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • Simple Facts

        Your really no better than the people whose faults you try to point out Disgruntled.

        January 26, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • glennrobert

      Do you suppose that little pip squeak would like his country to disappear.

      January 26, 2013 at 2:07 am |
  55. Grim Visage

    I am GOD, the high levels of radiation were from me, I farted.
    NOW!
    BOW!
    YEILD!
    KNEEL!
    AND DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!

    January 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • keplerfan

      haha!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Disgrunteled American

      Well its Obvious you are not God !And what else is obvious is The radeation the Doctors have been using trying to find a brain has done damage to wht little really if any is left!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
      • Steve - Dallas

        Also, god's spelling is better.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  56. MikeR777

    After reading the posts so far, I have no doubt that the USA will not solve its problems any time soon.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • lucifer jones

      After the Koreans come, we'll all eat fried dog with cat sauce!

      January 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • glennrobert

        I got shot at in Korea in 1953. I only seen one dog. It belonged to the Chaplin who watched it carefully.

        January 26, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Old Greg

      Best Post yet.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Disgrunteled American

      and KIMCHEE its Hot and tastes great !!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • qwerty81808

      Help me.... :(

      January 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  57. newscale62

    The people of that time likely thought that this was a sign of the apocalypse, contrary to real signs, such as a corporate controlled society, and allowing every citizen to acquire the maximum amount of firepower available.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Herr General

      Actually, the people of that time would have had absolutely zero clue that this was happening. There's a reason we've only found out about it now- there wasn't a high enough dose to have adverse effects on anyone, and remember that the human race only discovered radiation around the 19th-20th century.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • lucifer jones

        The people of the eight century were a bit slow witted – like the BamBam family. Da da da dum!

        January 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  58. Eileen

    Wait...Wait. Any minute now, the Tea Party will tell us clearly that no such thing took place in the 8th Century, and there wasn't even really an 8th Century at all. And that there is no such thing as rediation and probably not even a sun. Those guys, they got it all togehter.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • palintwit

      Tea Party patriots believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs. Tea Party Patriots also believe that early automobiles really were foot powered like the Flintstones.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • True Conservative

        Be careful, your ignorance is showing. The fact that you don't even understand what the Tea Party stands for (fiscal sanity) and the fact that you would post a political insult on a page talking about a scientific topic simply proves your ignorance. This Tea Party member will put their masters degree in nuclear engineering up against anyone when it comes to scientific topics.

        The article is interesting and leads me to want to better understand how a gamma ray burst could result in these isotopes being found in trees.

        January 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • hondo

        Holding a black, Democratic president to standards you never held Bush to. Where were the cries for fiscal sanity when Bush evaporated the surplus and flushed the economy down the tank? Great performance in the last election, BTW. The Tea Party is really going places!

        January 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Bob Robertson

        The bigger delusion is believing your government is going to save you. It really is too bad you can't take care of yourself, perhaps a solar flare will come from outer space and provide you with universal health care, welfare, 3 wishes, and government funded retirement at the age of 12. Yuk yuk yuk

        January 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • MikeTheTiger

        Sorry, True Conservative, but the Tea Party does NOT stand for fiscal sanity. If they did, they would recognize that we do not have the resources to support a military budget that's more than twice that of any other country (as a % of GDP) and is almost as much in total dollars as that spent by the rest of the world combined. They would also recognize that our current levels of taxation are historically low and woefully inadequate to support even the limited government they purport to favor. All the Tea Party actually stands for is wiping out all vestiges of a social safety net and fighting for even lower than low levels of taxation. All the while, no one does anything about the Social Security/Medicare time bomb about to go off. (And don't take this as an endorsement of the Dems. They are just as bad or worse, but at least more honest about their intentions.)

        January 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • Disgrunteled American

        Hay mike the tiger! You are right and when we no longer fund our military with enough money to keep our enamies out of our country(and by the way most of them take the money that should feed their starving people to fund their military budgets) You in all your sage wisdom can tell that to the new rulers right befor they shoot you!!

        January 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • PeaTardy

      Yes, the T.P. (Tea Party, Toilet Paper – take your pick) is always interested in furthering the truth and open discussion. For example, they tout fiscal responsibility while attempting to legislate morality. No, wait. That's can't be right. They are all about truth, right? I'm confused. Maybe I've had too many neutrinos passing through my body this morning.

      Anyone here ever known a PhD who was a real idiot? I thought so.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  59. Jeff Rogers

    What? No flat-earthers or moon-walk deniers? I only did a quick survey of comments on this article, and I'm disappointed. Needed a laugh to start my day...

    January 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Pete

      You should look again, there is at least one guy who says we haven't been to the moon, and might even go so far as to claim that we haven't even put anything in space at all.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Terry

      I can't believe there are still people stupid enough to think that the moon was actually walked on lol.. What 50 years ago and we still can't get on the moon today? Hmm odd don't you think? I guess our technology was better back then.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • draftsman

        Our technology was different, (mechanical then, electronic now), not particularly better or worse. The real difference is unity, discipline, and a sense of purpose. We had them then. We don't now, thanks in part to out "improved" technology of distraction.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • I Am God

        If you were intelligent enough, the whole reason for us going to the moon was to insure we got there first before the Soviet Union did. Now that the Soviet Union collapsed and there are no other countries that rival our own space program, the United States government (sadly) believes we don't need the money to go toward NASA any more.

        January 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • glennrobert

        Terry:Do you really think the Soviet Union would have allowed us to fake our walking on the moon?

        January 26, 2013 at 2:18 am |
  60. spacecalculus

    “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
    ― Søren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin

    January 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  61. JustSayin

    What I want to know is how does this affect Carbon 14 Dating? If you try and date something and you don't know about these "cosmic events" does that mean the dating would be inaccurate unless you calculate these things into the measurement? If so, how many other events might be "skewing" the results. Is it possible that scientists have been stating as prooven fact that certain things are of a certain age when the truth is that they might be thousands of years off?

    January 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • doughnuts

      They've known about the fluctuations in carbon-14 levels for decades, and adjusted dating rusults to match. This is just another theory to explain the presnece of those fluctuations.

      And this particular spike in the isotope levels only occurs on half the planet, so there are plenty of other artifacts of the same age to compare them to.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • hecep

      I've tried Carbon 14 Dating before. And I'm here to tell you... forget about it. All you get is a peck on the cheek. Forget about a phone number.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • MoVaughan

      Stupid! Heh Heeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

      January 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • heliocracy

      Just say it, you think the world is 6,000 years old, and you're claiming that this gamma ray burst is making us think it's 4.5 billion years by changing Carbon-14, which I believe has a half-life of about 5,730 years. You will not find your answer here.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Scientists have known about fluctuations in C14 for a very long time, and they correct for it when measuring dates. There are vast databases of measured samples kept for just this purpose.

      And the net result of an excess of C14 that went unaccounted for would be to make any dating based on it younger. Which, I strongly suspect, is exactly the opposite of what you were hoping for.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  62. Wash Yourself Now

    Gen Allen once emailed 30,000 socialites about events in the 8th Century!

    January 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  63. vincent carter

    So we did not have the Ozone Layer back in the 8th Century????

    January 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • JC

      The ozone layer blocks UV radiation. It doesn't block gamma ray radiation at all.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  64. Braveheart

    This isn't in the Bible so it could not have happened.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Daaave

      ^^^in the running for the most stupid (or stupidest for you) post of the day. Great Job!

      January 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Bub

        ^^^in the running for the post showing innability (or unableness for you) to understand sarcasm. Great Job!

        January 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • JustSayin

      The last book of the Bible was written between 68AD and 90AD. 8th century is 600 years after the Bible.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Sarcasm

      He/She is being sarcastic...

      January 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  65. Spencer

    'we are protected against risks by the ozone layer." That's great and all.....but if we get hit by a real gama ray burst from say a supernova or a strong solar flare..........the ozone would protect us...for 1/3 of a second.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  66. The Mayor of Medinah

    who cares

    January 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Sodomite

      You do, apparently.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  67. Greg Faith

    Everyone was asleep when it hit. Da!

    January 25, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  68. palintwit

    A growing number of us are convinced that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, being careful to speak only to real Americans, dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again if we all follow the "Palin Path".

    January 25, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • malidian

      I'm i complete support of Palin and her politics and would love to see that, but what you just did didn't help the cause. This spam has nothing to do with this article.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • SilentBoy741

      I'm all in favor of Palin returning to her motorhome and resuming her cross-country tour. It's the part where she comes back that I'm opposed to.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • jerryab

      First, Palin needs to return to her roots–in whatever universe that might be. Only THEN can she be sealed in and left to survive on her own wits.. Hence the reason she left Alaska and took a job with Fox News....

      January 25, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • JustSayin

      Palin does not have to change anything except caring about what the Hollywood duped Libs say about her. However she should look into the scientific claims made in her own state and launch an investigation into the accuracy of Carbon 14 testing.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  69. malidian

    What the heck is the point? This doesn't even say what the consequences are of this event.

    January 25, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • JustSayin

      I am guessing that it means Carbon-14 dating is suspect.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Lokari

        You certainly got the "guessing" part right.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  70. Karma-Apple

    Carbon dating is highly over-rated. I prefer eHarmony myself. Discuss!

    January 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Sean

      All dating is carbon dating.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • Mikoid

        Not me, I date inorganic molecules...

        January 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • SilentBoy741

        There's a whole section in the back of my local "adult entertainment" store dedicated to non-carbon dating... or so [ahem] that's , uh, what I"ve been told...

        January 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • doughnuts

        Real Dolls are inorganic.

        January 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • john

      GO TO YOUR ROOM !

      January 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • cold out there

      Wouldn't know about carbon dating, been happily in a non-polar covalent bond with spouse for over 33 years!

      January 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  71. John

    so modern day technological electric powered civilization could be wiped out in an instant, oh ok nothing to worry about then whats on the boob tube tonight?

    January 25, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Kenny

      Well the article fails to mention that high energy Gamma Ray Bursts emitted from supernovae would be catastrophic if it hit the earth. It would incinerate the ozone layer and bake everyone and everything. It would be a pretty bad day. The GRB discussed in this article is a subclass that isnt so deadly. We detect about 1 gamma ray burst everyday, so they are out there and they are very bad for us.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • cold out there

        I guess we'd need something a bit stronger than SPF 30, then.

        January 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • oldtimer

        You are correct Kenneth but it does depend on how close the gamma radiation burst was to our planet. The one referred to in this article is estimated to be approximately 1000 light years away which diminished the intensity to a point where it affected but did not destory the ecosystem.

        January 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  72. Boomer in Mo

    Only in the U.S. would an interesting scientific theory become political. Gads!

    January 25, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Canadian Hobo

      that is all the Americans know..... politics or war.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • So Icy

        Ya, we find that fighting amongst outselves until we have a common enemy is a good way to pass the time. That way we can dominate the world while making it look like half of us don't want to.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • glennrobert

        You are right Hobo: I am a Korean war vet and we are not really very good at either war or politics. We keep trying.

        January 26, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Dude

      When Darwin published his theories, he was embraced as a hero in his native England. Right?

      January 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  73. DBM

    Ha! Articles like this one alway bring the wingnuttery out flying around in circles like the whiteflies around my Coconut Palms!

    January 25, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • rosie

      You fly around coconut palms???

      January 25, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • DBM

        I'm a blackfly ...

        January 25, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  74. ari

    We USED to be protected by the ozone layer......

    January 25, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • aubrie

      Yeah... funny how they didn't mention all the holes in that layer, and how they are getting worse...

      January 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • djc60

        And you know about all the holes in the ozone and how they are getting worse.........how? Have you been talking to Al?

        January 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Dude

        Thanks to the ban on CFCs, the deterioration has stopped.

        Because of the stability of the molecules, it will take a long time for the ozone layer to fully regenerate. This was well known when they were working to replace them. The replenishment of the ozone layer is progressing much as the original models predicted.

        January 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  75. LEROY

    This is why I am never taking off my tinfoil hat no matter what.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  76. Barry G.

    It's interesting that–if this is true–this would have come on the heels of the fall and collapse of the Roman Empire (410 C.E. and 476 C.E.), which ushered in the Dark Ages and 1000 years of darkness; and, it would have preceded the subsequent decline and fall of the Byzantine Empire (1025-1453 C.E.). Of course this was a major transitional period for the civilized world.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • doughnuts

      The Dark Ages weren't. There was lots of scientific, artistic, and social progress in Europe and elsewhere.
      Also, the effects of this GRB didn't hit the Western Hemisphere of the planet.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  77. Michael Andrew Ruzicho

    I don't know but I feel like I have been ZAPPED the hard way, and I deserve some of it too.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • bull

      So, that's why you died of cancer?

      January 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • glennrobert

        Bull: I am going to have a squamous cell cancer removed from my ear. Not funny!

        January 26, 2013 at 2:34 am |
  78. Jake

    And Thus, Cancer began

    January 25, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • constantine16621990

      For some reason Jake, your comment seems to speak to me most:/

      January 25, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  79. brown

    One day, the human infestation of the planet will be no more!

    January 25, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • ken

      Speak for yourself.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • chris

      More like this explains how we got our superpowers.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • hankster

      Why, are all the liberal Democrats going to die off soon???? troll

      January 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  80. Cpt. Branagan

    Interesting.

    January 25, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  81. karmakitty

    THIS IS ONLY A TEST

    January 25, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • minhajarifin

      And it is a success!

      January 25, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  82. hubrisdenied

    this right here is why i ALWAYS HATED CARBON DATING......its such a huge assumption to say we know for sure what carbon 14 levels were 50 years ago.....let alone millions.......

    January 25, 2013 at 5:41 am |
    • superbole

      What in the friggin world does this event have to do with the decay rate of carbon? Are you a complete moron or are you doing this to get attention?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:57 am |
      • Lokari

        That's not necessarily an "or" question. He might be both a moron and craving attention.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • superbole

      NOTE – carbon-14 dating is only accurate up to within 50,000 years (or so), so IF there were multiple radiation events, then we'd see a distortion in the 14C baseline – which, by the way, we do; that's why the disclaimer. BUT... but... the friggin dinosaurs in your museum are still between 60 to 200 million years old. OKAY??

      January 25, 2013 at 8:21 am |
      • are122

        There are many dinosaurs in D.C. much younger than that.

        January 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • superbole

        lol... i was like, "wft? where?" then... i had to laugh. "oh... THOSE dinosaurs."

        January 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Dude

      By comparing C-14 levels in tree rings, with a known age, we are able to create very stable models of C-14 decay.

      Using multiple dating methods, you can account for the variations of C-14 over time. Over the years, C-14 dating has become far more accurate.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  83. logic

    So many opinions an yet you all dont see the bottom line. even if the planet was zapped you still dont know what it was. an if the planet is due for another zap you cant do anything about it. not your science not your military . Except it people man is not the center of the anything. your arrogance is astounding to think you know anything about whats out ther. keep guessin as man always does. its gonna bite you in the @S!

    January 25, 2013 at 4:17 am |
  84. dotheflippin'math

    Another brainwashed conspiracy theorist/idiot. Satellites cannot orbit within the atmosphere. The air resistance would both slow them down and they'd fall to the ground. There is no such thing as a Korman line. Perhaps you were referring to Harvey Corman. Shame Buzz Aldrin never got to meet you. He had a knack at dealing with your type. As for the event, it had to occur 3000 years prior to the 8th century. It was a quick blast that took 3000 years to reach us. Maybe read a few science and astronomy books (NOT ASTROLOGY – It's not the same thing!..i know, it's so confusing). Oh, and stay off the whacko websites. They apparently cause brain damage. As a person who minored in physics, I find your type laughable. Whatever you do, DON'T REPRODUCE!! THE GENE POOL IS MESSED-UP ENOUGH ALREADY!

    January 25, 2013 at 2:58 am |
  85. Kira

    Can't we all just be happy for the scientists that made the discovery and for the effort they put forth into doing so? I believe the point of it was that the past can give clues about our future. That may have been why they said that it could possibly happen again in the future. Something that could be that serious I think people would like to know in advance if at all possible and take whatever precautions, if any, that they could. I say bravo to the scientists that took the time doing the research to find the discovery so far in the past in the first place.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • Kenny

      There is no advance warning for an incoming Gamma Ray Burst. It is high energy electro-magentic radiation which travels at light speed. The only way we will know if one is heading at is will be when it hits the earth. Unfortunately the atomsphere will not protect us from a serious GRB as it will be incinerated on impact. Afterwards you gotta watch out for survivors who turn big and green when they get angry.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  86. klowiepowie

    Could explain why we've got ears now.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:07 am |
  87. constantine16621990

    Science proves all!!

    January 25, 2013 at 1:36 am |
  88. josh rogen

    no one seems to believe that the universe is filled with random and chaotic events any one of which could impact the earth in a negative way. the odds are that someday there will be an event that will make mankind realize we are not the center of the universe or the controllers of our own fate, if it will be in our lifetime or a thousand years from now who is to say.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  89. j

    Let's fund science, not nonsense nor Hollywood like gossip.

    How did that event make those funky atoms?

    Feedback on my comments at

    http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/23/dont-count-doomsday-asteroid-out-yet/

    are welcome if you're full of negativity.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  90. LC

    -still laughing about "MOOPS" ! Ooops and thanks George C...

    January 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  91. bobcat

    My god, could this be when the first immortals arrived from Zeist?

    January 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • MannyVeritas

      No. No Zeist. Everyone knows that there was only one Highlander Movie. So good day.
      I said good day!

      January 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  92. George C

    Uhhh... don't you mean the Moops invaded Spain in the 8th century?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • j

      when the Moors arrived in the 8th century.

      retrieved http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Spain

      January 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • George C

        went right over your head didn't it

        January 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Layla

      LMAO!!! Gotta love George Costanza!!

      January 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • potrzebie

      Brilliant!

      January 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  93. Some Guy

    I know you shouldn't feed trolls but I just have to ask... Usually people use propaganda as a means of controlling people with lies and half-truths, how exactly does "lying" about where the atmosphere begin and end fit in there. Who can you control and scapegoat with that? Poor choice of words, and you have no point.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • j

      Ignorant people are extremely easy to control. The fact we do not even know the layering of our atmosphere can only prove how ignorant we are. Why would National Geographic state 10 000 miles and other sources claim 100 000 miles if not only to bread ignorance.

      Get to the Moon when we do not even know what we are going to encounter along the was can only be the result of propaganda; A commenter in this forum stated our atmosphere ends at the so called Karman Line. Ignorance is easy to control.

      Let's finance science, not Hollywood through taxes and NASA. Look how technology has advanced since the 1960's. We are no closer to colonizing the moon, either for science or tourism.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • celticwonder

        Trust me when I tell you that you're a total moron in life. Stick to the Simpson's and things with the Kardashians in it, science isn't your thing.

        January 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Kira

        You want to talk about ignorance? I believe people would "breed" it, not "bread" it as you as you stated. So smart yet cannot spell something properly or didn't double check what the auto-correct typed in for them. For such an opinionated
        person I'm shocked.

        January 25, 2013 at 2:43 am |
      • Kira

        Commenting to my own comment: I see that I accidentally put "as you as you" instead of "as you". Unfortunately on the mobile site of this page the comment box doesn't always show everything you have typed in. Just didn't want to sound like a hypocrite since I was criticising someone else's mistake.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:41 am |
      • Joe the Baker

        People should bread only if they absolutely knead to, not just for the dough.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • al.warren

        After you bread the ignorance you should deep fry it and serve it on some loose leaf stupidity

        January 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • j

        There is a lot of "bread" in breeding ignorance, especially after it has been bread. Don't you agree?

        Think Hollywood five man Orion spacecraft, at the very least. Let's put the scientific method back into human space exploration, not missinformation nor propaganda.

        January 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  94. Thomas Solheim

    Actually, Al Gore, our wrong. It wasn't the death star blowing up.It was actually the Planet Krypton. Superman's home world is appropriately 3000 light years from us.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  95. JC is the man

    I know, right. Trip-N!
    Anyway, the karman line (where the atmosphere ends and space starts) is 62 miles up, wise guy. Get your facts straight b4 u take yer crazy pills.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • j

      What you wrote makes me think of LegoMan in space the other year. Karmen shmarmen!

      January 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • j

      Is there a Karman Line, or is it more unscientific nonsense and propaganda; This time by the "scientific community" as well. Earth 's atmosphere ends, supposedly at 100 000 miles or more; Not at 10 000 as National Geographic states. How would we have atmospheric drag on geostationary satellites at 20 000 miles above sea level?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • j

      The atmosphere does not end at the Karman Line! The more propaganda, missinformation, the fewer flights to Mare Tranquillitatis; and please save your negativity from these blogs; your slander makes you look...

      January 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  96. Chad

    So... what you're saying is.. we didn't have an ozone layer in the eighth century?? Ok? Thanks makes a ton of sense.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • chris

      lol this is what i took from this dumb piece to

      January 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  97. ReadandShare

    My guess? An observable event of no significance to the people around. Life went on. There were also no electronic gadgets around to be fried.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  98. Alananzoid

    As science continues to discover more about the universe the more dangers to earth are brought to light......

    January 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  99. j

    If this event, "could have been no closer than 3,000 light-years from Earth", what does a 2013-775=1238 years ago event have to do with it?

    January 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Sam

      Is it possible that the event was theoretically observable in 775 AD meaning that it actually occured 3000 years prior to this (2225 BC) and Earth didn't see the affects until 775.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • j

        What you write adds up.

        January 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • doughnuts

        And if it were any closer than 3000 ly from Earth, the effects would have been far more serious, and more readily apparent, than a spike in radio-isotope levels.

        January 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Lokari

      The current date has no relevance at all. The effects of the event – whatever it was – reached earth in 775 CE. The location where the event occurred was at least 3000 light years away. That means the actual event happened in 2225 BCE or earlier, far far away.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • Al Gore

        This event was the result of Luke Skywalker distroying the Death Star! Look at the events time line and location. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away............ Wait untill Darth Vader finds Voyager. It will lead the Galatic Empire here!

        January 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
      • Dude

        Al Gore,

        The Death Star was destroyed "In a galaxy far far way". The nearest galaxy is a lot further out than 3000 light years. This event had to be within our own galaxy.

        Why can't you fools differentiate reality from fiction? Try some real science and you would know this was due to the destruction of a Borg vessel. Probably by the race that seeded the Klingon empire.

        January 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  100. makagutu

    Interesting facts about earth.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • j

      What do other historians think about this article and sending probes everywhere; Not mice, canines nor anything that confirms we are using the scientific method to colonise outer space. We never landed on the moon with people, pets nor even a mouse that might like green cheese. Research Layka, Luna 24 and why the ISS is only ~200 miles above sea level, while Earth's atmosphere extends for 100,000 miles above the sea. Cold war propaganda had a reason then; What about us today?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • dave

        ... What??

        January 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • Chad

        You aren't making any sense.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • Al Gore

        Hu? Your tripping harder than Keith Richards. Could you say that again in ebonics or hillbilly. Something the rest of us regular people can understand.......?

        January 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • JC is the man

        I know, right. Trip-N!
        Anyway, the karman line (where the atmosphere ends and space starts) is 62 miles up, wise guy. Get your facts straight b4 u take yer crazy pills.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
      • j

        We have given up the scientific method for human space exploration in the 60's in favor of a Hollywood human space program. We can repeat this with Mars and five astronaut Orion, or break out the elbow grease, and make good on our claim to the moon, further human colonization by reintroducing the scientific method for human space exploration.

        How expensive can it be to send up a few mice in a Lunar Lander, and brig them back after a while. Mice weight a fraction of one human. Maybe a this could turn into a school project, technology from 50 years ago should be cheap today.

        Additional shielding in orbit, space and on Earth's moon could make such an endeavour feasible. Moreover, traveling across the Atlantic used to be a one way journey a few hundred years ago, now you can fly standby. Well, we could a few decades ago.

        How about a weekend trip to the Moon, or a vacation? Think of cities very far north on our planet that a comfortable because they're enclosed. The longer we fund NASA for propaganda instead of for adhering to the scientific method the further we will be from colonization of our celestial neighbour orbs and space itself. Do you agree?

        January 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • trollhater

        100,000 miles? Really, wow haha, even though the earth is roughly 20,000 miles in diameter? Sometimes people should just be deportes for the damage to society and the gene pool for their own good haha

        January 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
      • celticwonder

        Total and complete moron. Pay no attention.

        January 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • SilentBoy741

        Look, if a hamster can drive a new Kia Soul, there's no reason that, with a little training, a mouse couldn't piilot a spacecraft. Your inferrence that mice are inherently inferior to hamsters is just blatent specism of the worst kind.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:45 am |
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