Message #126:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Sorry, No Comet Before 11/1680
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 05:42:32 -0700


From:	Deb Dosh

The following is taken from:  COMETS:  A Chronological History of
Observation, Science, Myth, and Folklore.  Donald K. Yeomans, 1991, John
Wiley and Sons, Inc., N.Y.  Page 422.  This section reports comets
viewed with the naked eye through the year AD 1700.

1680 November; (P = December 18.5, d = 0.42 on November 30) Viewed in
Europe, China, Japan, Korea, North America.

Interestingly, this comet was the first viewed through a telescope and
the first telescopic discovery of a comet.  Made by German astronomer
Ottfried Kirch on the morning of November 14, 1680.  It remained a
morning object until the first few days of December, when it entered
into solar conjunction.  On December 18 it was seen at noon in the
Philippines, less than 2 degrees from the Sun.  John Flamsteed, at
Greenwich, first detected its tail in the evening sky on Dec. 20 with
the head being observable two days later as it exited the solar glare. 
Extensive observations were made by many European observers.

In the British colony of Maryland in North America, Arthur Storer noted
its tail was 15 to 20 degrees in length on November 29.  Interestingly,
this is the first recorded observation of a comet by a Euro-american,
with the naked eye or otherwise, in North America.  I wonder, however,
if the authors have tapped into early Spanish documents to see if other
comet observations were made prior to 1680.

The Chinese reported the comet first on Nov. 23 in Crater.  It had a
white tail more than 1 degree long pointing towards the west. The last
observations were made by Isaac Newton on March 19, 1681. Its motion
from discovery to last observation was generally eastward, passing
nearly around the entire sky from western Leo into Auriga.

REFS  P25, Ho-Peng-Yoke and Ang Tian-Se (88), Newton 1687, Broughton
1988, Selga (1930).

So what does this mean in terms of visibility in the Four Corners area
in or before August?  Based on the above observations and that it was
only visible telescopically during its first discovery in November, IT
WAS NOT VISIBLE PRIOR TO OR DURING THE REVOLT.

I also looked up other comets in preceding years.  Comets are listed for
the years 1665,  1666, 1668, 1672, 1673, 1676, 1677, and 1678.  There is
no listing of these comets being observed or visible in North America,
most were recorded in China or Korea.

Perhaps the Pueblos foresaw Halley's Comet of 1682?

Deb Dosh