Cometography: A Catalog of Comets. Series: Cometography. Vol. 1
729 - The only contemporary account of this comet is found in the fifth book of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (734). He wrote, “In the year of the incarnation of our Lord 729, two comets appeared about the sun, to the great terror of the beholders. One of them went before the sun in the morning at its rising; the other followed it in the evening at its setting, as if presaging dire destruction both to the east and to the west; or assuredly one was the forerunner of the day, the other of the night, to signify that mortals were threatened with calamities at both times. They carried their torch of flame toward the north, as if it were ready to kindle a fire; they appeared in the month of January, and continued for nearly two weeks.”
Numerous monastic histories compiled in England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, and France during the period 1025-1493 also mention a comet seen in this year. Several of these were obviously copied from Bede. The Nuremberg Chronicles (1493) say it appeared in January and remained visible for 15 nights.
George F. Chambers (1889) commented, “it is easy to see that a single comet with a R.A. not greatly differing from that of the sun, but with a high North declination, would be seen after sunset and before sunrise…”
Sources: Bede, Ecclesiastical History (734), pp. 556-7; Annales Quedlinburgenses (1025), p. 34; Annales Weissemburgenses Maiores (1075), p. 34; Annales (1077), p. 34; Chronicon ex Chronica (1118), p. 39; Chronicle of Holyrood (1189), p. 105; Chronica Majora (1247), part 1, p. 332; Liber de Temporibus (1448), p. 70; Nuremberg Chronicles (1493), folio 162b; A. G. Pingré (1783), p. 335; G. F. Chambers (1889), p. 568; EHD1 (1955), pp. 159, 681.