Comets have brought awe upon those observing them since ancient times. Indeed, particularly bright comets have been attributed to major occurrences in history.
Following Caesar’s murder, a bright comet appeared over Rome’s skies that was allegedly bright enough to be seen during daytime – Augustus attributed this to Caesar himself.
The star of Bethlehem, which purportedly heralded the birth of Jesus Christ, is also thought to possibly have been a comet.
In literature, comets have also oftentimes been used to profess Earthbound events.
While we now know the true nature of comets, their importance in the solar system is still significant.
Comets are one hypothesized manner in which planets could receive water, organic molecules and other minerals, which could make life possible on planets like the Earth. On the other hand, the collision of a comet with a planet teeming with life could spell disaster for those same life forms, resulting in extinction events.
While comets are therefore not messengers of news, they can deliver the materials required for life to barren worlds and conversely deliver impacts which destroy such proliferating biota.
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