Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 285, Issue 2, pp 513–520 | Cite as

Giant comets and human culture

  • W.M. Napier


Our understanding of Earth history on geological timescales is in a state of flux due to the realisation in recent years that the Earth is a bombarded planet. However recent findings suggest that a celestial input may also be important on much shorter timescales. Apart from the current hazard, the night sky in prehistoric times appears to have been dominated by a giant, short-period comet and its debris, and interactions with this material may have had a strong influence on human cultural development.


Mass Extinction Impact Rate Geological Timescale Meteor Shower Meteor Stream 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alvarez, L.W., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F. and Michel, H.V.: 1980, Science 208, 1095.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Baillie, M.: 1993, From Exodus to Arthur, Batsford, London.Google Scholar
  3. Brandt, J.C. and Chapman, R.D.: 1982, Introduction to Comets, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Clube, S.V.M. and Napier, W.M.: 1980, The Cosmic Serpent, Faber, London.Google Scholar
  5. Clube, S.V.M. and Napier, W.M.: 1984, MNRAS 211, 953.ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Clube, S.V.M. and Napier, W.M.: 1990, The Cosmic Winter, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  7. Grieve, R.A.F. and Dence, M.R.: 1979, Icarus 38, 230.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Hahn, G. and Bailey, M.E.: 1990, Nature 348, 132.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Helin, E.F. and Shoemaker, E.M.: 1979, Icarus 40, 321.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoyle, F.: 1993, The Origin of the Universe and the Origin of Religion, Moyer Bell, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C.: 1978, Astrophys. Space Sci. 53, 523.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C.: 2001, Astrophys. Space Sci. 275, 367.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. Keller, G.: 2000, Planet. Space Sci. 49, 817.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. Keller, G.: 2002, GSA Special Paper 356, in press.Google Scholar
  15. Malina, B.J.: 1995, On the Genre and Message of Revelation, Hendrickson, Peabody, Massacussetts.Google Scholar
  16. Napier, W.M.: 2001a, MNRAS 321, 463.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Napier, W.M.: 2001b, in: B. Peucker-Ehrenbrink and B. Schmitz (eds.), Accretion of Extraterrestrial Matter Throughout Earth's History, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  18. Napier, W.M. and Clube, S.V.M.: 1979, Nature 282, 455.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. Napier, W.M. and Clube, S.V.M.: 1997, Rept. Prog. Physics 60, 293.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Peiser, B.J., Palmer, T. and Bailey, M.E. (eds.): 1998, Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations, BAR International Series No. 728.Google Scholar
  21. Steel, D.I. and Asher, D.J.: 1996, MNRAS 280, 806.ADSGoogle Scholar
  22. van der Waerden, B.L.: 1974, Science Awakening II: the Birth of Astronomy, Noordhof, Leiden.Google Scholar
  23. Velikovsky, I.: 1950, Worlds in Collision, Victor Gollancz, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • W.M. Napier
    • 1
  1. 1.Armagh ObservatoryUniversity of CardiffArmaghNorthern Ireland

Personalised recommendations