Ancient solar storm pinpoints Viking settlement in Americas exactly 1,000 years ago
An analysis of wood from L’Anse aux Meadows zeroes in on a cosmic event to reveal that the European seafarers were felling trees in Newfoundland in A.D. 1021.
In A.D. 993, a storm on the sun released an enormous pulse of radiation that was absorbed and stored by trees all over the Earth. Now, that solar event has proved a critical tool in pinpointing an exact year the Vikings were present in the Americas.
Since the discovery of a Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Canada's Newfoundland more than 50 years ago, most scholars accept that Viking sailors, who explored the seas beginning in the late 700s to around 1100, were the first Europeans to reach the Americas. The timing of the Viking forays to what they called “Vinland,” however, remained unclear. Based on artifact finds, radiocarbon dating, and Viking sagas, the settlement at L’Anse aux