Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Reports for the months of August and September 2002, and the beginning of the 6th Hebrew month (Elul) and the beginning of the 7th Hebrew month Ethanim (Tishri).
August - “On Friday August 9, 2002 the New Moon was sighted from Jerusalem. The moon was first sighted by Nehemia Gordon at 19:55 and remained visible continually until 19:58 when it disappeared behind a cloud.”
September - “On Sunday September 8, 2002 the new moon was sighted from Jerusalem, Israel by Devorah Gordon at 19:05 local time. The moon was sighted a minute later by Nehemia Gordon. The moon remained visible for an extended period of time in the clear Jerusalem sky. The moon was also sighted by Bruce Brill and Sarah Reiser from elsewhere in Jerusalem at 18:55 and by Hen-el Brill from Tekoa at 19:10.
Yom Teruah Sameach!”
Day of Trumpets – September 9
Day of Atonement – September 18
Feast of Tabernacles – September 23 – 29
Last Great Day – September 30
The next new moon should become visible from Jerusalem near sunset on October 7. This will be the beginning of the 8th Hebrew month.
VENUS AT GREATEST BRILLIANCY
In the early evening of September 26, Venus will be shinning at its greatest brilliancy, which is magnitude –4.6. Since there is still twilight in areas in the higher northern latitudes, it will actually not appear as bright as it would if it were in darker skies. Venus will appear over the west-southwest horizon at that time, and will shine at that magnitude or very close to it through early October.
Venus will be below the feet of Bethulah (Virgo) late September through late October. The planet will be stationary on October 10 as it begins to go into retrograde motion. Chart 285 shows the path of Venus from September 26, 2002 to December 18, 2002 as it does a retrograde loop around and in the midst of the feet of Bethulah.
The following is a news release written by Roger W. Sinnot for Sky & Telescope on September 22, 2002.
“On Friday, September 20th, Japanese amateur Katsumi Haseda (Aichi, Japan) found a 5th-magnitude star-like object on a routine patrol photograph of the rich Milky Way field in northeastern Sagittarius. Even though the apparent nova was included in just a single one of Haseda’s Tri-X frames exposed that night, it was so bright that Taichi Kato of the Variable Star Network issued an urgent appeal to observers around the world for confirmation.
Within 16 hours of the discovery, Doug West in Mulvane, Kansas, obtained a CCD image of the field and measured the object’s position to be right ascension 19h 01m 09.4s, declination –22° 00' 06" (equinox 2000.0). Among those confirming the new star visually was Sky & Telescope contributing editor Stephen James O’Meara. He called it magnitude 5.5, bordering on naked-eye visibility. IAU Circular 7975 from the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams reports that a spectrum obtained at Fujii Bisei Observatory in Okayama, Japan, indicates the object is a galactic nova shortly past peak brightness. It will probably fade gradually, with some fluctuations, during the next few weeks.
Sagittarius is currently well placed for viewing in the south right after dark. (You can locate the constellation on S&T's Interactive Sky Chart.) Using 10 x 50 binoculars on Sunday evening outside Boston, Massachusetts (at 0:00 Universal Time September 23rd), Sky & Telescope senior editor Alan MacRobert estimated that the nova had faded to magnitude 6.5, and on Monday various other observers put it around 6.4. On Tuesday evening MacRobert called it 6.7, while Sky & Telescope's Dennis di Cicco estimated 6.9.”
Chart 286 shows the position of this particular star explosion in the back neck area of Sagittarius. The letter X marks the area in the constellation where the nova is. The picture or figure of the constellation Sagittarius may be a portrayal or foreshadow of the horseman in Revelation 6:2.
In 1993, after being very impressed in what I saw while I was looking into the then upcoming celestial events between 1995 and 2003, I was expecting (in the back of my mind) a bright supernova in Sagittarius in September of 1996. Instead, a bright comet by the name of Hale-Bopp was winding up through Sagittarius and became naked eye visible about 4 or 5 months later. Well, it is six years late and only a dim (as far as naked eye visibility) nova, and not a bright supernova, but it is at least where I expected it. I do not know if this particular event is a sign to be taken seriously or not as far as Biblical prophecy. Time will tell.
EARTH CAPTURES A NEW MOON?
Around September 12, I started receiving phone calls asking me if I knew anything about the new celestial object that was captured in an earth orbit. Some said there was a large object or new moon that was heading toward earth. I at first didn’t take it too seriously since I thought it may have been propagated by the Planet X people spreading more rumors. Then I heard it was mentioned on the Paul Harvey radio show. I have always respected Paul Harvey as being on the up and up and one who checks out his stories before he reports them. After hearing this I went to check it out on various credible astronomical websites. Lo and behold, it was real. But it turns out that the object is small and is most likely a booster to the Saturn V rocket that propelled Apollo 12 to the moon. Below is an article on the subject by Robert Roy Britt for Space.com, September 12, 2002.
Earth’s Newest Satellite Could Hit Moon Next Year – “NASA scientists say a recently discovered satellite of Earth is probably a Saturn V third stage rocket booster that has been travelling around the Sun in Earth's vicinity for decades and was only recently captured by Earth's gravity in April. The object has a 20 percent chance of hitting the Moon next year, according to new computer calculations based on the most recent observations of the object's position and path.
The odd satellite orbits Earth every 50 days. It was discovered on Sept. 3 and scientists had wondered if it might be a space rock captured by Earth as a new moon. That idea has not been ruled out, but the new calculations, by Paul Chodas at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), lend further support to the more likely expectation that the object is human-made space junk.
"It could be a leftover Saturn V third stage from one of the Apollo missions, most likely the Apollo 12 mission, launched on November 14, 1969," Chodas and his colleagues explained in a statement.
Such junk can drift in and out of Earth's orbit over the years, spending time orbiting the Sun along roughly the same path as Earth's yearly circuit. Earth's new satellite, temporarily named J002E3, is about twice as far away as the Moon.
"It's most likely a spacecraft," said Donald Yeomans, an asteroid expert at JPL. "It's not likely to be a natural object, not in that kind of orbit."
J002E3 might have come within Earth's vicinity in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the computer analysis showed.
The satellite was apparently captured by the Earth when the object passed near Earth's L1 Lagrange point, a location where the gravity of the Earth and Sun approximately cancel each other out. This point serves as "portal" between the regions of space controlled by the Earth and Sun.
The JPL statement said J002E3 is the first known case of an object being captured by the Earth, although Jupiter has been known to capture comets via the same mechanism. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in 1994, had been captured by Jupiter decades earlier.
J002E3 was discovered by Bill Yeung from Arizona. It was first listed as a minor planet (typically meaning an asteroid) by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which serves as a clearinghouse for such objects. It was later removed from that list when it was found to be in Earth orbit.
The presumed hunk of metal is visible from Earth to experienced amateur astronomers with telescope of 8-inches or larger. It shines at magnitude 16.5 -- too faint for the naked eye or small telescopes.
The brightness of J002E3 seems to match the expected brightness of a Saturn rocket booster, the scientists say. "Further circumstantial evidence suggests that this object is in fact the Apollo 12 stage, which was left in a very distant Earth orbit after it passed by the Moon on Nov. 18, 1969. This spent rocket body was last seen in an Earth orbit with a period of 43 days, not much different from J002E3's current orbit."
The presumed hunk of metal could join a handful of others that have hit the Moon. NASA intentionally slammed five rocket boosters on the Moon in the early 1970s in an effort to study the structure of the Moon.
JPL scientists say J002E3 "has a surprisingly large 20 percent chance of impacting the Moon in 2003."
It also has a 3 percent chance of entering Earth's atmosphere in the next 10 years. It would almost surely burn up and not impact the planet, experts say. Larger pieces of space junk have fallen through the atmosphere harmlessly.
The odds of any impact will likely change in coming days as more observations are made and the path of J002E3 is further refined, JPL scientists said.”
Since I mentioned Planet X above, I have a bit more to say on the subject. It seems that many subscribers did not see the article that I did on Planet X in the June 2002 issue of Biblical Astronomy. I continue to get inquiries of when I am going to do an article on it. In case you missed it, it is on the last written page of the June 2002 newsletter. To be short, blunt, and somewhat unprofessional, the Planet X rumor is put forth by a bunch of wackos. Of the two main wackos, one claims to be communicating with spirits of aliens (remember Heavens Gate and the Hale-Bopp companion episode?), and the other doesn’t have as much education in science as Jethro Bodene. These people have done a video on Planet X; don’t waste your money. Need I say more? The following is a website where you can get credible scientific information on the subject. www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/planetx/index.html
The greatest foreseeable planetary event in the year 2003 is the closest approach of Mars to the earth for the next 1,000 years. There are also interesting celestial events surrounding this in late August of 2003. There will be much more on this in the August 2003 newsletter, Lord willing.
URSA MINOR AND URSA MAJOR
Continuing from the August newsletter concerning the Sign Cancer, we will be taking a look at two of its decan constellations, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, better known as the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper. Charts 287 and 288 show the more modern depictions of these two constellations which are seen here as bears. But these were in the most ancient times sheepfolds, as will be seen from a study put forth by E.W. Bullinger from his book The Witness of the Stars, added below. Some believe that the lesser sheepfold in number (Ursa Minor) represents the “Christian Church” and the greater sheepfold represents Israel (all of Israel, Ephraim and Judah). E.W. Bullinger asserts that the “Christian Church” is not to be found here, nor anywhere else in the constellations. He believes the lesser flock represents those who are “partakers of the heavenly calling” who are not the seed of Israel, such as Enoch, Noah, Job, and Abraham. There is also the factor that this constellation contains 24 stars which are thought to represent the 24 elders mentioned in the Book of Revelation. While those of the greater flock, represent the seed of Jacob (Israel) who are called to an “earthly inheritance.”
I believe that there is a great possibility that these two sheepfolds could represent the two houses, Israel (Ephraim) and Judah; Judah being the lesser in number and Ephraim the greater in number. Or they may portray a combination of both. The lesser in number representing the faithful in Messiah, who are not only saved, but have a certain inheritance or reward for being faithful, whilst the greater in number represent the saved who did not earn that particular reward. Salvation is free, but certain rewards are earned. And who is to sit on Messiah the King’s right side or left, only the Father knows.
Though it may seem obvious to some, as did to me when I started this study, that the two sheepfolds seen here represent the two houses, as well they may, there can also be multiple portrayals. It is now obvious to me that I should to do more work on this.
Though there is a certain amount of dispensationalism to wade through here (not that I disagree or totally disagree), the following is E.W. Bullinger’s thoughts on these two constellations.
URSA MINOR (The lesser sheepfold)
“Here we come to another grievous mistake, or ignorant perversion of primitive truth, as shown in the ancient names of these two constellations.
It is sufficient to point to the fact that no Bear is found in any Chaldean, Egyptian, Pesian, or Indian Zodiacs, and that no bear was ever seen with such a tail! No one who had ever seen a bear would have called attention to a tail, such as no bear ever had, by placing in its very tip the most important, wondrous, and mysterious Polar Star, the central star of the heavens, round which all others revolve. The patriarchal astronomers, we may be sure, committed no such folly as this.
The primitive truth that there were two, or a pair of constellations is preserved; and that of these two, one is larger, and the other smaller. But what were they? We have the clue to the answer in the name of the brightest star of the larger constellation, which is called Dubheh. Now Dubheh means a herd of animals. In Arabic, Dubah means cattle. In Hebrew, Dohver, is a fold; and hence in Chaldee it meant wealth. The Hebrew Dohveh, means rest or security; and certainly there is not much of either to be found or enjoyed with bears! The word occurs in Deuteronomy 33:25 "As thy days so shall thy strength be." The Revised Version gives in the margin, "So shall thy rest or security be." This accords with what we have already seen under CANCER: "Couching down between the sheepfolds, he saw a resting-place that it was good."
Here are the two Sheepfolds, then; the Greater fold, and Lesser; and here is the rest and security which the flocks will find therein.
But in Hebrew there is a word very similar in sound, though not in spelling--dohv, which means a bear! So we find in Arabic dub; Persian, deeb and dob. We can see, therefore, how the Hebrew Dohver, a fold, and Dohv, a bear, were confused; and how the Arabic Dubah, cattle, might easily have been mistaken by the Greeks, and understood as a bear.
The constellation, which we must therefore call THE LESSER SHEEPFOLD, contains 24 stars, viz., one of the 2nd magnitude, two of the 3rd, four of the 4th, etc.
The brightest star, a (at the point of the tail), is the most important in the whole heavens. It is named Al Ruccaba, which means the turned or ridden on, and is today the Polar or central star, which does not revolve in a circle as does every other star, but remains, apparently, fixed in its position. But though the star does not revolve like the others, the central point in the heavens is very slowly but steadily moving. When these constellations were formed the Dragon possessed this important point, and the star a, in Draco, marked this central point. But, by its gradual recession, that point is sufficiently near this star Ruccaba, in the Lesser Sheepfold, for it to be what is called "the Polar Star." But, how could this have been known five or six thousand years ago? How could it have been known when it received its name, which means the turned or ridden on? That it was known is clear: so likewise was it made known in the written Word that the original blessing included not merely the multiplicaiton of the seed of faithful Abraham, but it was then added, "And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Gen 22:17).
This star was called by the Greeks the "Cynosure." ARATUS seems to apply this term to the whole of the seven stars of the Lesser Bear. Mr. Robert Brown, Jr., shows that this word once supposed to be Hellenic, is non-Hellenic, and possibly Euphratean in origin, from a word which he transliterates An-nas-sur-ra, and renders it, "as it literally means, high in rising, i.e., in heavenly position." (Euphratean Stellar Researches). Is not this the primitve truth of the Revelation? Will not this Lesser Fold be high, yea, the highest in heavenly position?
The Polar Star has been removed from the Dragon, and is now in the Lesser Fold; and when the Dragon shall be cast down from the heavens, the heavenly seed will be safely folded there. But this is the Lesser Sheepfold. These are they who all through the ages have been "partakers of the heavenly calling," who desired a better country, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God "hath prepared for them a city," the city for which Abraham himself "looked." This was no earthly city, but a city "whose builder and maker is God" (Heb 11:10-16). These have always been a smaller company, a "little flock," but the kingdom shall be theirs, even the kingdom of God, for which they now look and wait. They have not yet "received the promises; but, having seen them afar off" by faith, they "were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb 11:13). Their Messiah has accomplished "the redemption of the purchased possession," and in due time the redeemed will inherit it, "unto the praise of His glory" (Eph 1:13).
The bright star b is named Kochab, which means waiting Him who cometh. Other stars are named Al Pherdadain (Arabic), which means the calves, or the young (as in Deut 22:6), the redeemed assembly. Another, Al Gedi, means the kid. Another is Al Kaid, the assembled; while Arcas, or Arctos (from which we derive the term Arctic regions), means, according to one interpreter, a travelling company; or, according to another, the stronghold of the saved.
But there is not only the heavenly seed, which is compared "to the stars of heaven," but there is the seed that is compared to "the sand of the sea"--the larger flock or company, who will enjoy the earthly blessing.
This brings us to—
URSA MAJOR (The fold and the flock)
Of these it is written--
"But in Mount Zion there shall
be those that escape,
And it shall be holy:
And the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions."
Obadiah 17-19, RV
It is a large and important constellation, containing 87 stars, of which one is of the 1st magnitude, four of the 2nd, three of the 3rd, ten of the 4th, etc. It always presents a splendid appearance, and is perhaps, therefore, the best known of all the constellations.
In the Book of Job (9:9, and 38:31,32) it is mentioned under the name of Ash. "Canst thou guide Ash and her offspring?" which is rendered in the AV, "Arcturus and his sons," and in the RV, "The Bear with her train" (marg., "sons"). The Arabs still call it Al Naish, or Annaish, the assembled together, as sheep in a fold. The ancient Jewish commentators interpreted Ash as the seven stars of this constellation. They are called by others Septentriones, which thus became the Latin word for North.
The brightest star, a (in the back), is named Dubhe, which, as we have seen, means a herd of animals, or a flock, and gives its name to the whole constellation.
The star b (below it) is named Merach (Hebrew), the flock (Arabic, purchased).
The star g (on the left of b) is called Phaeda, or Phacda, meaning visited, guarded, or numbered, as a flock; for His sheep, like the stars, are both numbered and named. (See Psalm 147:4)
The star e is called Alioth, a name we have had in Auriga, meaning a she goat.
The star z (in the middle of the tail) is called Mizar, separate or small, and close to it Al Cor, the Lamb.
The star h (at the end of the so-called tail) is named Benet Naish (Arabic), the daughters of the assembly. It is also called Al Kaid, the assembled.
The star i (in its right foot) is called Talitha.
The names of other stars all give the same testimony: El Alcola (Arabic), the sheepfold (as in Psa 95:7; and 100:3); Cab'd al Asad, multitude, many assembled; Annaish, the assembled; Megrez, separated, as the flock in the fold; El Kaphrah, protected, covered (Heb. redeemed and ransomed); Dubheh Lachar (Arabic), the latter herd or flock; Helike (so called by HOMER in the Iliad), company of travellers; Amaza (Greek), coming and going; Calisto, the sheepfold set or appointed.
There is not one discordant voice in the rich abundance of this testimony. We have nothing to do here with the Grecian myths about bears or wild boars. We see only the innumeralbe seed gathered by Him who scattered (Jer 31:10).
Many are the Scriptures we might quote which speak of this gathering and assembling of the long scatterd flock. It is written as plainly in the Book, as it is in the heavens. The prophecies of this gathering are as conspicuous in the Word of God as the "Seven Stars" in the sky. It is difficult even to make a selection from the wealth of such promises; but few are more beautiful than that in Ezekiel 34:12-16:
"As a shepherd seeketh out his
In the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered;
So will I seek out my sheep,
And will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
And I will bring them out from the people,
And gather them from the countries,
And will bring them to their own land,
And feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers
And in all the inhabited places of the country.
I will feed them in a good pasture,
And upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be:
There shall they lie in a good fold,
And in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
I will feed my flock,
And I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD (Adonai Jehovah).
I will seek that which was lost,
And bring again that which was driven away,
And will bind up that which was broken,
And will strengthen that which was sick:
But I will destroy the fat and the strong;
I will feed them with judgment."
It is of this judgment with which this book, and indeed the whole Revelation, ends, in the next and final chapter. But before we come to that we have one more picture in the third constellation of this Sign, which combines the first two in one.”
This is speaking of the constellation Argo (The Ship) which will be continued to the next issue of Biblical Astronomy.
PM SHARON: IT DEPENDS HOW BAD WE’RE HIT
Arutz Sheva, September 26, 2002 – “Not entirely in keeping with - or possibly in explanation of - what he said only a week ago, Prime Minister Sharon is now hinting that Israel might remain passive in the face of an Iraqi attack. Sharon told The Jerusalem Post yesterday that "if Iraq attacks Israel, but does not hit population centers or cause casualties, our interest will be to not make it hard on them [the U.S.]. If, on the other hand, Israel is harmed, if we suffer casualties or if non-conventional weapons of mass destruction are used against us, then definitely Israel will take the proper actions to defend its citizens." Sharon said he hopes "that the US' mode of operation with its coalition partners will be such that a potential attack against Israel will be averted.
A few days ago, The New York Times reported that Sharon had informed the White House that if Iraq attacks the Jewish state, Israel would not sit idly by.”
As you are most aware, the United States will most likely attack Iraq by this coming November (unless certain Liberal Democrats have their way). If that takes place and Saddam feels he is soon about to loose, as a last crazed act of suicidal revenge, there is a good probability that he will loose whatever weapons of mass destruction which are at his disposal against Israel. If Israel’s air defense and antiballistic missiles fail to stop any of these weapons, and if there are Israeli casualties caused by such weapons, then Israel will most likely go nuclear against Iraq. This will cause havoc throughout the rest of the world and then anything is possible.
The heavens seem to be strongly portraying a big war in the autumn of 2003. If this be put off until then, we will soon see, or it may escalate into a much bigger war over a period of months. Then there is the possibility that all will quiet down and the time of the end is years off. In either case, have no fear and stay strong in the Messiah. Put your trust in Him and let not your love grow cold. Don’t let the serpent steal your crown. I speak these things to myself as well, and pray to be found worthy of the Lord.
The Lord Yahshuah HaMashiach, Jesus Christ, keep you all.