Climate, Weather and Health
History meets Science
Meteorology Beyond Borders
References for Greek and Latin
written by Susanne M Hoffmann
There are several possibilities to cause a star looking bearded.
a) a comet is often called metaphorically a "hairy star" or a "tailed star" because it has the appearance of a fuzzy attachment.
b) it is also known from other historical traditions (e.g. the accurate Chinese observers) that the phenomenological description of an object as fuzzy does not necessarily mean that it refers to a comet: It can also refer to a bright object that has rays due to a misty or dusty atmosphere. In this case, the atmosphere causes a little halo around bright stars and planets. If the halo is not perfectly symmetrical or visible only in one direction, the star (or planet) can also appear "bearded".