Fall of a Thousand Suns: How Near Misses and Comet Impacts affected the Religious Beliefs of our Ancestors (non-fiction, 264 pages, over 100 images) thoroughly explores how ancient impacts and near misses by comets changed religious beliefs around the world. The book is the result of years of research and countless interviews with astrophysicists, scientists and religious scholars. After reading it, you won't look at comets, meteor showers or religion in the same way.
Around 10,850 BCE, our ancestors observed a fuzzy, new "star" in the night sky. For weeks this "star" (a comet) moved through the constellations like others that came before it, but it soon became very different. Each night it grew larger and brighter—eventually rivaling the midday Sun. Ultimately, this "star" fell to Earth, releasing hundreds of thousands of times more energy than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Animals and humans near ground zero of the impact were incinerated. Millions more were killed by trillions of pieces of microscopic iron that flew in all directions at nearly 3,000 miles an hour, tearing through flesh and piercing organs. Fireballs arced thousands of miles into space. Countless pieces of fiery debris descended back to Earth and sparked wildfires on four continents.
Does this sound like the plot of a Bruce Willis movie? It's not. In 2007, twenty-five scientists from seventeen universities suggested all of the above actually happened. If this event took place in the not so distant past, why didn't our ancestors preserve its memory for future generations and warn us of the danger? The recently released book Fall of a Thousand Suns finds evidence that they did‚ in religious beliefs and myths. Lacking science, each ancient culture described this celestial nightmare in their own way: As a multi-headed monster, a snake that wrapped around the world, a falling Sun, a fire-breathing dragon or an angel that fell from the heavens.
The cataclysmic event, almost 13,000 years ago, may have sparked our ancestors' obsession with, and fear of, comets. Some ancient myths and religious beliefs even describe other comets, including one with tails that spanned the entire night sky, one that barely missed Earth, and yet another that hit our planet thousands of years after 10,850 BCE. This more recent impact appears to have created megatsunamis hundreds of feet high, decimated coastal civilizations and killed millions.
We haven't lost our ancestors' knowledge of comets. We've misinterpreted their stories or dismissed them as fiction. If we don't reexamine their firsthand accounts of near misses and comet impacts, then one day we'll turn on CNN, FOX News, or BBC and see satellite images of our soon-to-be murderer. Don't we owe it to our ancestors, who struggled to survive in the wake of these celestial cataclysms, a progressive world, in which we use science and comparative religion to search for the truth? With the help of religious scholars, anthropologists, and astrophysicists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, the author of Fall of a Thousand Suns spent years unraveling which dangerous comets our ancestors experienced...and when they experienced them.
Fall of a Thousand Suns: How Near Misses and Comet Impacts affected the Religious Beliefs of our Ancestors will appeal to fans of international best-selling authors Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock.