The Astronomical Records in… Trees?

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We can learn a lot about our galaxy by looking to the stars, but we can also reveal a lot about our cosmic history from… Dead trees?

Tags: scishow, scishow space, Space, Science, hank green, astrophysics, astronomy

  1. MajesticSeeOtter _

    I love astrology

  2. Colin Adams

    Does this have implications for calibrated Carbon-14 dating?

  3. NATO 7.62mm

    Rather than distant supernova one should consider a much closer (like our Sun) source experiencing a much smaller event such as a micro-nova (as evidence on Earth and the Moon show is a recovering event on a 12,000 year cycle) which is due again in 20 to 25 years from now….. Should be a helluva show. For more info, search YouTube for Suspicious Observers and select Solar Catastrophe Vida.

  4. Steve Fox

    Solar micronova cycle, Galactic current sheet, Earth’s pole flip….

  5. Akash Chaturvedi

    So we now have one more reason to plant more trees

  6. Mitchell Dean

    I didn’t get a notification for this

  7. dotan wolf

    its the sun. all stars flare and novae every now and then. small and big…

  8. Vanlalchhanhima

    C.E lol why are American so afraid of expressing religion. Muslim,hindu,Buddhist country wont lmfao

  9. John Johansen

    Isn’t C14 detectable in ice cores?
    Maybe from pollen or other organic materials.

    Or maybe in sediments from lakes and seas.

  10. uptown3636

    0:16 “Cosmic history preserved in thousand year old wood”

    Thank you, Viagra. Without those little blue pills, old wood would be too soft.

  11. Fart Mcass


  12. jeremiah

    Is it just me or did Hank’s voice change a bit?

  13. My Diary

    Wait, so there is still new carbon formed, but is new nitrogen also still formed?

  14. Scott Young

    if all of human history is a blink compared to the universe, what would a 1000 year old tree have to say?

  15. tungthinks

    I feel smart pretending to understand this video.

  16. B Rian

    It was funny seeing you and your brother on good mythical morning lol you’re a funny guy

  17. Toughen Up, Fluffy

    Oh, Time will tell
    Of stars that fell
    A million years ago—Moody Blues

  18. Ian

    The sky uses cosmic rays to turn nitrogen into carbon. Wow.

  19. Mo Kalby

    Kind of wishing SciShow would’ve started this one with a disclaimer to the astrologist who will inevitably try to use this as evidence for pseudoscience.

  20. Tina Corbett

    “There are no trees in a library……oh. Snap.”

  21. Scott Anderson

    There is power in every boy. The future is male!

  22. honestsage

    Are those giraffes?

  23. MVP_KZ

    Perhaps some of those cosmic events caused the collapse of some civilizations :)🤔😱

  24. Dirk in RL

    og hank 2 days in a row!

  25. API Cars

    Can we eat trees

  26. Poof a

    Yeah, being off by 75% of the Common Era is not _great…_

  27. Robert Colin Shepherd

    Trees are cool. They are tall. They grow stuff. Trees are cool. I like trees.

  28. Defiance

    Would such interstellar events distort our conclusions when we employ radioactive carbon-14 dating?

  29. Christian McCrary

    i cannot figure out the shirt pattern our lovely host is wearing. giraffes or brontosaurus?

  30. Mark Pendragon

    I wonder whether the script included the line about it being “super fun until I discovered …” or whether that was added to the script by Hank, after reading it. ;-)

  31. A Youtube Channel


    Tree: I am the solar system.

  32. Joshua ptp

    Sun is variable

  33. ResortDog

    The Suns output is the major input on Earth.

  34. mythology2467

    So the real astrophysics was on our own planet all along

  35. Infected_Chris

    What about OUR sun?

  36. Mouse Pounder

    Comment for The Comment God.

  37. Victoria Eads

    This is when, where possible, astronomers and historians need to collaborate. Finding records of astronomical events in historical records could help explain some of these spikes, even if the historical record didn’t know what was actually being recorded. Art historians can help, too. There are plenty of events recorded by artists that could help, too.

  38. Murder Bong


  39. Carbon No6


    0:44 seconds into the video you’ll find what is beyond any and all contestation that the Earth, is round!

  40. New Message

    5 stars, wood watch again.

  41. azwris

    Tell me your tree to tell you who you are..

  42. Aidan Kedzierski

    My friends and I had a convo about particle physics yesterday that slowly became about trees and this video feels fated to have come out today.

  43. Rose Velvet

    Xfiles have an Early episode where tree loggers cut down the wrong tree and inside it is alien bugs from thousands of years ago from some meteor transpermia in and kills people.

  44. Mitchell McGill

    Isn’t there any other way Carbon-14 can form? Wouldn’t that cause false positives?

  45. Militant Pacifist

    69th comment

  46. JeanYves Angers

    So wath happen 12,000 years ago a lot of sciences earthquake,volcanos, space,yes somethings wrong happen on earth but wath.

  47. sarasmr 42

    Hank said “wood”

  48. zJoriz

    This video reminded me of Austin’s video on Halo Rings versus hypernovas… and the swearing when he realized that yes, our little planet could be fatally fried in the off chance it’d cross the path of one.

  49. outrageous acts of austin

    Ooooo seen at 7,640 views

  50. Natasha S

    Honestly thought there were bugs 🕷 🐛 🐜 on his shirt 🤦🏻‍♀️ definitely need glasses 👓

  51. Energy Falcon

    Noone Knows for Sure…

    Carrington Event: Am I a joke to you?

    (Kinda kidding)

  52. creepy whiteTrash

    Can someone translate to me what C.E means please all I know is the classic BC and AD. Thanks

  53. Jason the Cripple

    With these spikes of 20 time the normal amount of C-14, would that screw up Carbon dating?
    If a sample is taken that occured during one of these spikes, wouldn’t make the sample look much much younger?

  54. Celt of Canaan Esurix

    There’s a reason the Celtic wisemen where known as Druids “Oak-see-ers”

  55. L Dewey MD

    This reminds me of the last episode of “Cosmos” (from 2014) when they talked about “manganese nodules” and how they revealed that a supermassive nova erupted 6 million years ago producing an unusual isotope of iron.

  56. Rasmus n.e.M

    That is wild. I guess being an immobile, stubborn entity that only takes in air and gives life to people when expiring isn’t so bad after all 🤷‍♂️

  57. Robin Hahn

    Alternate video title: SciShow’s regular reminder that trees are badass

  58. harry.tallbelt

    The really cool and exiting thing about this is that it helps a lot with history datings.

    Even before, dendrochronology was a cool way to date wooden structures by connecting imprints various events leave on wood (I think mostly forest fires, but I don’t actually know) with historical records. This allows you to find out exactly when a tree was cut, which presumably was around the time the wooden structure in question was built.

    The reason this is not that useful, though, is that it relies on knowing local conditions at the time really well, so you can spot the relevant signatures on the trees. But then one day a bunch of people discover that all the trees on the planet keep a record of supernova bursts, which helps dating tree rings without any written sources at all. So now dendrochronology is one of the most precise dating methods that historians know of. And also one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of too.

  59. Jevin Johnson

    What?? The universe’s largest explosion can have negative effects on civilization???

  60. Larnotlars

    It is confusing to me because we use C-14 to tell the age of the tree (after the tree”s death). If C-14 levels are not constant, do we lose this method?

  61. Asher Perkins

    Wow! Keep it up

  62. Osmosis Jones

    That impact crater on mars that proves mars lost its magnetic field no later then 3billion years ago. How do they know its 3million years old?

  63. Hal Grotke

    What effect does this have on carbon dating?

  64. Austin Whitney

    Thought it said “The Astronomical Records in… Texas?” and did not question it for a single second

  65. AppNasty

    2018…2019….2021…hmmm…its like the trees refused to record 2020 too.

  66. Osmosis Jones

    You know that. Triassic rock that had screw in to creationist have . well turns out it was in a meteor

  67. BrandEver

    inb4 SeE AsTrOLOgY mAkeS SeNSe

  68. Christopher Mellinger


  69. Shaun Kennedy

    How does this impact carbon dating?

  70. TimeAndChance

    Astronomical records in dead trees abounded during the Tunguska event back in 1908. Just the direction they fell when they died <> something.

  71. mrdonetx

    I hope no giraffes were harmed in the making of that shirt!

  72. Lou Sensei

    Some of you humans are finally figuring it out.

  73. Dogstar Tarot

    Wood is good 🌳

  74. TheRealMirCat

    Edit: Ignore what I said B4

  75. Tobie Allen II

    Trees 🌳 : The Original Librarians of the Universe

  76. King Peter

    Please don’t start proving that the position of the planets have an effect on thing. Like how the heck is astrology gaining momentum durring covid

  77. PaleGhost69

    I knew my oak tree was a Capracorn

  78. Lynn Poole


  79. Radim Cernej

    Wow, interesting. But this must complicate carbon-dating of fossils / archeological artifacts.

  80. Michael McConnell

    space trees. got it.

  81. TheRealMirCat

    What about that ring. “We don’t talk about that ring.” Why, what is it? “We do not talk about the 2020 ring!!!”

  82. Skylar's Terrible Memes

    Hey, has anyone seen a blue sock around here? I’m missing my left sock and for some reason I have two right socks :/

  83. Geeksmithing

    1: Hank and Team, thanks for all that you do!
    2: That giraffe shirt is nice!

  84. Ted Cameron


  85. Jose Protacio Rizal Merca

    Oh wow I’m too early!

Comments are closed.