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A comet could not produce the carbon-14 spike in the 8th century

Authors
  • Usoskin, Ilya
  • Kovaltsov, Gennady
Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Jun 13, 2014
Submission Date
Jan 23, 2014
Identifiers
arXiv ID: 1401.5945
Source
arXiv
License
Yellow
External links

Abstract

A mysterious increase of radiocarbon 14C ca. 775 AD in the Earth's atmosphere has been recently found by Miyake et al. (Nature, 486, 240, 2012). A possible source of this event has been discussed widely, the most likely being an extreme solar energetic particle event. A new exotic hypothesis has been presented recently by Liu et al. (Nature Sci. Rep., 4, 3728, 2014) who proposed that the event was caused by a comet bringing additional 14C to Earth. Here we calculated a realistic mass and size of such a comet to show that it would have been huge (~100 km across and 10^{14}-10^{15} ton of mass) and would have produced a disastrous impact on Earth. Such an impact could not remain unnoticed in the geological records and chronicles. The absence of an evidence for such a dramatic event makes this hypothesis invalid.

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