Supernovae sightings have been recorded throughout history although the distinction of true supernovae from novae is sometimes ambiguous. In some notable cases, observations of the supernova event have been preserved in some cultures but not in others. Examination of the historical record provides insight not only into the rate of supernova explosions in the Milky Way but also into the completeness of the historical reporting that survives.
|185 A.D.||Chinese||Identification in doubt (Chin and Huang 1994)|
|1006||China, Japan, Korea, Arab lands, Europe||Identified with radio SNR|
|1054||China, Japan||Crab Nebula|
|1181||China, Japan||Possible identification with radio SNR 3C58|
|1572||Europe (Tycho Brahe), China, Japan||Tycho's remnant|
|1604||Europe (Kepler), China, Japan, Korea||Kepler's remnant|
``The Historical Supernovae'', Clark, D.H. and Stephenson, F.R. 1977 (Pergamon Press; New York).
``Historical Supernovae'', Stephenson, F.R. and Clark, D.H. 1974, Scientific American Dec..
``Identification of the Guest Star of AD 185 as a Comet Rather than a Supernova'', Chin, Y.--N. and Huang, Y.--L. 1994, Nature 371, 398.
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