A combined Chinese, Greek, and South American view

as computed by John Walker's Home Planet program.

The orbital elements for the fictitious comet 'Phaethon' are based on the real Earth approaching object Oljato, which is thought to be an inactive comet.

Orbital elements:

Number Name : Comet 'Phaethon'
Mean anomaly: 8.667953
Arg. perihelion: 94.31133
Long. node: 72.93695
Inclination: 5.016057
Eccentricity: 0.730421
Semimajor axis: 2.175264
Epoch (MJD): 48992.20

Compare with:

Number Name : 2201 Oljato
Mean anomaly: 8.667953
Arg. perihelion: 95.92833
Long. node: 76.91195
Inclination: 2.516057
Eccentricity: 0.711021
Semimajor axis: 2.175264
Epoch (MJD): 49001

Times are from 02:45 AM UTC to 13:15 PM UTC on 6/21/-1158.

The images are ordered from left to right as:

The fictitious comet Phaethon's position is show by symbol "A" on the images; this symbol does not convey scale.

At this time the coma of the comet comes into view for the Greeks.

By now the Earth-size coma appears to be about twice the diameter of the moon.

The apparent size of the coma has now grown to around four lunar diameters.

By this time the Venezuelans would be seeing a coma eight moons in diameter rising in the east.

Earth is now within the tail of the comet and the coma appears about thirty-two moons across--a splended sunset for the people of Taiwan!

The enormous ball of fire sinks quickly on the eastern horizon for the Venezuelans.

Impacts with multiple fragments loosely held by the gravity of the comet nucleus become frequent now.

The Greeks see Phaethon 'crash' in the east.
Duck and cover is the rational response for those with this view.

Immediate terror starts to wain.
The comet continues to diminish in the night sky for the Taiwanese.
Back to Phaethon article