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Science & Technology

Japanese scientists find 8th-century mystery

By T.K. Randall
June 4, 2012 · Comment icon 6 comments

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Earth was hit by a mysterious blast of cosmic radiation at some point during the 8th century AD.
Scientists in Japan have been able to learn of the incident through the examination of ancient cedar trees which contain carbon-14, an isotope derived from cosmic radiation. The research found that around that time the levels of carbon-14 were 1.2% higher than usual, indicating a significant event such as that produced by a massive solar flare or supernova.

"With our present knowledge, we cannot specify the cause of this event," said Fusa Miyake of Nagoya University. "However, we can say that an extremely energetic event occurred around our space environment in AD 775 ... (but) neither a solar flare nor a local supernova is likely to have been responsible."
In the late eighth century, Earth was hit by a mystery blast of cosmic rays, according to a Japanese study that found a relic of the powerful event in cedar trees.


Source: Associated Press | Comments (6)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Englishgent 12 years ago
Possibly a gamma ray blast. Sounds likely
Comment icon #2 Posted by jgorman628 12 years ago
Too early to be any sort of side effect from the crab nebula.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Mikko-kun 12 years ago
A Tunguska event in that time? Woudn't that leave traces to the surrounding environment too?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Bildr 12 years ago
http://www.nature.com/news/mysterious-radiation-burst-recorded-in-tree-rings-1.10768 Just over 1,200 years ago, the planet was hit by an extremely intense burst of high-energy radiation of unknown cause, scientists studying tree-ring data have found. The radiation burst, which seems to have hit between ad 774 and ad 775, was detected by looking at the amounts of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in tree rings that formed during the ad 775 growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The increase in 14C levels is so clear that the scientists, led by Fusa Miyake, a cosmic-ray physicist from Nagoya... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by csspwns 12 years ago
shouldnt they test more trees. in the article it said they tested only 2 trees.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Mike the Autist-ic 12 years ago
We need to locate the source of the gamma ray burst in our galaxy, to further vindicate the mysterious jump in temperatures in the period of the 770s AD, and too late to be analyzed in astrological terms whether or not it served the rise of Islam to become a world religion (630s AD).


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