Where to go on vacation for Of the records of cometary apparitions that were available to the historians, they elected to use only certain ones that were in accord with their ideological reading of the larger narrative of the Former Han dynasty. The criteria for inclusion rather than exclusion were not the brightness or coma/tail size, but rather the perceived astrological signiicance of the comet and especially the usefulness of the apparition in advancing the historian's ideological agenda. As John T.Ramsey and A.
Lewis Licht put it, Our extant sources clearly relect but a small fraction of the records that were once kept by the imperial Astronomical Observatory, and the records that do survive are far less detailed and complete than the accounts from which they were drawn.
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We should not, therefore, conclude from the absence of a report in the Chinese sources available to us today that the sighting of a given comet was not necessarily made from China. How Comprehensive Are the Surviving Ancient Records? Unfortunately, even when we combine all the records for any given ancient period, they fall far short of a comprehensive list of visible comets.
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