In modern times, comets are usually considered a fine sight. But scientists now say that Halley’s comet, 1500 years ago, may have caused a widescale famine by rousing a wave of dust and lowering the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere.
Halley’s comet struck our planet nearly 1500 years ago. Scientists have now come up with a theory, supported by substantial evidence, that when the comet hit Earth, it blew immense amounts of dust into Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, there was a significant drop in the overall temperature of the planet which eventually resulted in crop failures and famine.
In fact, scientists have also linked this natural catastrophe to ‘Justinian’s plague‘ that hit the human population back in 541 – 542 AD and lead to the first occurence of the notorious Black Death. This hypothesis is supported by the recent finding that back then, the atmosphere of the Earth contained extraordinary amounts of dust.
The finding comes from the analysis of Greeland ice that, scientists believe, was laid down between 533 and 540 AD. The samples contain dust and this coincides with the historical recorded fact that in 536 – 537 AD, the temperature of the planet abruptly cooled by as much as 3 °C.
The Halley’s comet is very significant for scientists because there is a huge possibility that the said heavely body caused extraordinary changes to our planet, affecting not only the climate but the lifestyles of the human race as well as its progress. It remains to be seen how accurate this current theory proves in explaining the nature of the impact.
Courtesy: Daily Mail