"In the second year of the Zhongping reign period, in the 10th month, on a Guihuai day, a 'guest star' emerged within the Southern Gate," says an ancient Chinese journal of record, referring to an awesome celestial event that occurred on December 7, 185 AD.
"It ...(had) scintillating, variegated colours, and it then grew smaller, until in the sixth month of the hou-year [July 5 to August 2, 186 AD] it disappeared."
The "guest star" so vividly portrayed almost 2,000 years ago in the Astrological Annals of the Houhanshu has now been confirmed as the world's oldest recorded supernova.
... which tweaked in my mind a page put up by MF on astonomical symbols on ancient coins, in particular, a coin of Commodus dating to A.D. 186 which includes a star-and-crescent motif which has often been referred to as referring to an eclipse (which has never made sense to me) ... could this be a Roman (sort of) depiction of the celestial event recorded by the Chinese? [a quick look at the wildwinds page of Commodus has a star featuring prominently in a pile of coins after this date]