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Ancient Chinese astronomers chronicled numerous episodes where the apparition of comets preceded plague and disaster. Meticulous observations were compiled in 300 BC in a series of books known as the "Mawangdui Silk" (Ling-feng 1976) It details 29 different cometary forms and the various disasters associated with them, dating as far back as 1500 B.C: "Comets are vile stars. Every time they appear in the south, they wipe out the old and establish the new. Fish grow sick, crops fail, Emperors and common people die, and men go to war. The people hate life and don't even want to speak of it." -Li Ch'un Feng, Director, Chinese Imperial Astronomical Bureau, (648, A.D).
For seven days and seven nights
Man will watch this awesome sight.
The tides will rise beyond their ken
To bite away the shores and then
A fiery dragon will cross the sky
Six times before this earth shall die
Mankind will tremble and frightened be
for the sixth heralds in this prophecy.
The great star will burn for seven days,
The cloud will cause two suns to appear:
The big mastiff will howl all night
When the great pontiff will change country.
"For several days around January 12, 2014, Earth will pass through a stream of fine-grained debris from Comet ISON," says Wiegert. "The resulting shower could have some interesting properties.
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According to Wiegert's computer models, the debris stream is populated with extremely tiny grains of dust, no more than a few microns wide, pushed toward Earth by the gentle radiation pressure of the sun. They will be hitting at a speed of 56 km/s or 125,000 mph. Because the particles are so small, Earth’s upper atmosphere will rapidly slow them to a stop.
"Instead of burning up in a flash of light, they will drift gently down to the Earth below," he says.
Don’t expect to notice. The invisible rain of comet dust, if it occurs, would be very slow. It can take months or even years for fine dust to settle out of the high atmosphere.