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Text #41

Kronk. Cometography: A Catalog of Comets. Series: Cometography. Vol. 1
[p. 7]

This is the first comet for which accounts exist from two different cultures giving similar details about the time period of its appearance and its location in the sky.

Babylonian cuneiform tablet BM 41850 gives an account of a comet seen sometime within the 10th month of -233. According to a translation by Hermann Hunger (1996), it was detected in the “last part of the night…in the east.” Hunger says the 10th month of -233 began on January 22 and ended on February 19.

The only ancient Chinese text to report the comet is the Shih chi (-90). It reports a “broom star” was seen in the east sometime during the month of -233 January 21 to February 18.

Full moon: February 4

Sources: [Shiji: Qin Shihuang benji] ch. 6; Ho (21); Hunger (1989)

Text #42

Sachs & Hunger. Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia
[pp. 95--99]

A: RM 694 + BM 41641 + 41930 + 41963 + 41997
B: BM 41850


12 – That month, the 17th, a great “fall of fire” occurred in […] next to Enamtila.


3’ – last part of the night, a comet in the east […]
5’ – The 26th, cold.

Text #9181

Yeomans. Comets
[p. 364]

234 BC January-February, China, Babylon. A broom star comet was seen in the east. Ho (21). Fragmented Babylonian records note a comet seen in the east during the last part of the night sometime within the interval January 23 to February 20. (Hunger (1989))

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