Aurorae and archaeomagnetism from the 1st millennium B.C. China, Greece and Italy: A brief overview and critical assessment

TitleAurorae and archaeomagnetism from the 1st millennium B.C. China, Greece and Italy: A brief overview and critical assessment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsIoannis L., Evangelia P., Miao C.H, Xu F.X, Shuhui C.
Date Published2017/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1108-9628
Accession NumberWOS:000418897300019
Keywordsages; Aurorae oval; britain; Chinese dynasties; coordinates; dates; declination; dependence; Geomagnetic field; geomagnetic secular variation; historic time; inclination; intensity; interplanetary magnetic-field; last 2000; Mediterranean; parameters; records; solar-wind speed; virtual geomagnetic pole; years

Auroral reports from ancient Chinese records and from Greece and Italy, from historical sources (Bamboo Annals, Tai ping yu lan, Ch'unch'iu period and Aristotle, Anaxagoras, Seneca, Pliny, Livy, respectively) in the 1st millennium B.C., are discussed in relation to the geomagnetic pole (GP) coordinates through archaeomagnetic inclination and declination data. It is shown that the expected auroral oval with its extension to a maximum of radius 30 degrees around the GP occasionally reaches the Chinese / Southern Mediterranean mid latitudes and eastern longitudes: for China 35 degrees-40. and 95 degrees-125 degrees. respectively, and for Greece/Central Italy, 35 degrees-40 degrees. and 10 degrees-25 degrees. respectively; two distant regions where two great cultures flourished. Of the nine Chinese records those of 1000-900 B.C., 687 B.C., 193 B.C., 139 B.C., 32 B.C., 30 B.C. and 15 B.C. records are justified by a mid latitude geomagnetic pole which gives certain mid latitude aurorae. For the 166 B.C. and 154 B.C. available archaeomagnetic data the position of the VGP does not justify observation of aurorae. Archaeo-magnetic data for Chinese accounts derived from South Korea, Japan and England reduced to mid China location are also used to determine GP at a reduced site of common latitude in China, but due attention and discussion of non-dipole magnetic sources and their calculated drift rates is made, to explain the unattainable observation of aurorae at central Chinese latitudes. Similarly, in southern Eastern Mediterranean area (Greece, Italy) 33 data are used and most are commensurable with the inclined GP towards mid latitudes, included within the auroral oval or at its southern maximum extension taking into account associated errors. Highly acceptable aurorae accounts and problematic ones are explained in terms of smooth or rapid, respectively, changes in the magnetic inclination and declination positions, reinforced by large age errors. Virtual Geomagnetic poles (VGP) for examined regions are ranging between 51 degrees to 71 degrees for latitude and between 1 degrees to 123 degrees for longitude for auroral observation dates of the 1st millennium B.C. to 1st century A.D.

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