Comet ice impacts?

Some additional speculation on these burns with little blast.


--translated from chapter 150 of Andre Thevet's, Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes (Paris, 1584); note the mention of "the lightning of Jupiter"--a common metaphor for bolides:

The above can be found on page 174 of Laudonniere & Fort Caroline (history and documents) by Charles E. Bennett (Univ. of Florida Press, 1964).


In 'A Notable Historie containing foure voyages made by certaine French Captaines unto Florida' (London: Thomas Dawson, 1587), which is a translation of 'L'Histoire Notable De La Florida Situee Es Indes Occidentales' (Paris: Guillaume Auvray, M.D.LXXXVI.), the account below begins: "...,until that on the 29. of August a lightning from heaven fell within halfe a league of our fort..." Thus the event occurred within a mile and a half of the fort but no damaging blast wave is mentioned. Of course there may have been a blast front that was not recorded however I have come across other acounts that seem to suggest more burn than bang, such as the Chinese report below the following modern translation of Laudonniere's story.


From 'Three Voyages' by Rene Laudonniere, translated by Charles E. Bennett (The University Presses of Florida, Gainsville, 1975 pp 88-90):


--below is from 'The Dragon in China and Japan by M. W. de Visser (Johannes Muller, Amsterdam, 1913 pp 48-49)

Though I'm not sure if this account relates only one event and there does seem to be some shock wave, the report seems to convey the burning of a large wet area. This type of observation makes me wonder if there is not some atmospheric chemistry involved. A biomass in oxygen enriched air makes for pretty good kindling.


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