Editor - Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 5772, Oregon City, OR 97045-8272
Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org <> website - www.atlbible.org/astronomy.htm
COMET HALE-BOPP UPDATE
Since the November issue of this newsletter, there have been continuous reports of a traveling companion of the comet Hale-Bopp. These reports are conflicting with other reports that say there is no such thing. Government cover-up, Vatican conspiracy, millennial fever; I don't know, take your pick. If there is another object next to Hale-Bopp, it is most likely a broken off piece of the comet. I very seriously doubt that it is four to six times larger than Earth as some are saying. This would mean that the comet would be near that size also. One object that size, at the distance that it now is from earth, would now appear very bright in the evening sky (about the brightness of Jupiter). Two objects that size and being that close together, would now appear brighter than Venus. It only takes basic astronomy and a little horse sense to figure this out. Comet Hale-Bopp at this time is barely visible to the naked eye. However, it is picking up its rate of increasing brightness again, and as a result, should be equal in brightness to the star Sirius at its closest approach to the earth, if it doesn't break up first. Sirius is the brightest star in the heavens, other than the planets Jupiter and Venus. To predict the brightness of a comet at its closest approach to the earth and sun is very difficult at best. As the comet draws closer, better calculations can be made.
THE HEBRON TALKS SHUFFLE
The Hebron talks seem to have taken on a cycle similar to a dog chasing its tail. It goes like this: Israel and the Palestinian Authority come together to negotiate a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Hebron, the talks break down, threats of terrorists attacks and attacks are made on Israel, phone calls are made between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Arafat to begin talks again, Arafat goes to Europe and meets with the Pope while there, Arafat returns and talks resume. Then the same process is repeated again in the same order. This has been going on since October.
Terrorist activity is increasing, and rocket attacks on northern Israel have begun again. Iran is supplying the Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon with rockets and other weapons to be used against Israel. These supplies are being airlifted continuously into Damascus, Syria. It is also reported that an Iranian jet fighter squadron with planes is now in Damascus, with more expected to follow. A question that is not being addressed is how are these flights reaching Damascus. They either have to fly through a central corridor in Iraq, since northern and southern Iraq are No Fly Zones, or through Turkey to get to Damascus. In either case, they would have to get permission from the country they are flying through. It is somewhat doubtful that Iraq would allow the fly-throughs since they are on unfriendly terms with Iran. I am sure that military intelligence knows where these flights are flying through, but are not saying anything about it.
The new Turkish Islamic regime is becoming very friendly with Iran. If it is Turkey that is allowing these fly-throughs, then they too have joined in against Israel.
It is reported that Iran now has long range Russian missiles that can reach into the heart of Israel. Iran has also supplied the Hezbollah with longer range Kyushu rockets which can reach Haifa from southern Lebanon. Also, the PLO is acquiring and stockpiling anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. This is not allowed by the Oslo II agreements.
The PLO are continually breaking the Oslo II agreements. One such case of many is their refusal to extradite to Israel the terrorists responsible for gunning down a Jewish family and killing the mother and her 12 year old son in their car earlier this month.
SNS news listed 27 terrorists that Israel requested to be extradited from the PLO controlled territories. These terrorists committed violent acts of terror and murder against Israeli citizens over the last two years. The PLO has refused to extradite these terrorists, and furthermore, have given them light sentences to no punishment. Most of them have been recruited into the Palestinian army and some hold high ranking positions. The PLO is now in the process of placing convicted terrorists near the Jewish quarter in Hebron. All of the above is in direct violation of the Oslo II accords and then some.
THE EIGHT YEAR CYCLE OF VENUS
Back to Astronomy. The planet Venus has a unique eight year cycle in its path through the heavens as seen from Earth. Venus goes into retrograde motion every 1.6 years, performing loops or zig-zags as seen from Earth. Over an eight year period, Venus will be seen in five different areas or constellations in the heavens in retrograde motion. Every eight years, to the day, this cycle begins again, with the same loop or zig-zag in each of the five constellations. The patterns of Venus's orbit are symmetrical.
Chart 20 shows the path of Venus over a 24 year period. Venus performs narrow loops under Leo, wide loops between Libra and Virgo, and zig-zags between Capricornus and Sagittarius. Chart 21 shows the path of Venus over the same 24 year period. Venus performs wide loops over Pisces, and narrow loops over Taurus. The zig-zag pattern above Capricornus is the same as Chart 20.
Venus starts this pattern again, but a little to the right or west of where the pattern was formed eight years earlier, to the day. According to E.W. Bullingers Number in Scripture, p. 203, the number "eight is the dominical number, for everywhere it has to do with the LORD. It is the number of His name, Jesus." All dominical names of Jesus (Christ, Lord, Our Lord, Savior, Emmanual, Messiah, Son, in the Greek are all marked by gematria and stamped with the number eight as a factor.
Jesus says in Revelation 22:16 "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." I believe this to be referring to the planet Venus. The number 5 also has significance to Grace. It is through what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross that we have grace and thus "Being justified without cause by His grace." -- Romans 3:24
LUNAR ECLIPSES ON HOLY DAYS
Currently, we are in the midst of a string of Lunar eclipses falling on or within one day of the Jewish holy days of Succoth, Passover, and, or, Purim. Such a string of eclipses falling on or near these holy days occurs about every ten years. This is because when such strings occur, the eclipses are six months apart, and Passover and Succoth are six months apart. The moon is always full during an eclipse and during Passover or Succoth. When such a string starts on or near Passover or Succoth, then the other eclipses will follow suit. Not all of such eclipses are seen from Israel. In the past century there was only one other string (other than 1996/1997) where all the eclipses could all be seen from Israel on the holy days. This occurred in 1949/1950. In two such strings (1949/1950 and 1967/1968) Israel was at war with her enemies. Most of the eclipses in 1967/68 were not seen from Israel. There was a series of six lunar eclipses falling on the Holy days between 1930 and 1932. Two of those were not seen from Israel. Of course, Israel had not yet become a nation at that time. Hitler came into power in 1932.
The most dramatic of such strings is now occurring. All are seen from Israel, three of the eclipses are total. The partial eclipse, coming up on March 24, will be near total, but only will be seen 1/3 eclipsed from Israel before it sets. At least two of the eclipses are accompanied by two bright comets; Hyakutake on the Passover of 96, and Hale-Bopp on the Passover or Purim of 97 (Passover on Hebrew calendar, Purim on Jewish Talmudic). The eclipse of September 27 (12 hours from Succoth) was in conjunction with Saturn, a rare event which hasn't been seen from Israel since the year 611. It remains to be seen if there are any other celestial surprises to occur with the eclipse on September 16, 1997.
The total eclipse that occurred on Passover, 1996 appeared blood red over Jerusalem. I do not know if any of the previous eclipses for this century appeared such a deep red color.
I have listed all of the lunar eclipses falling on or near Passover (Nisan 15), Succoth (Tishri 15), and Purim (Adar 14 or Adar II 14), for the 20th Century on the back page of this newsletter. Dates are given in both the Jewish Talmudic calendar and the Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew calendar is more ancient and uses different factors in calculating when the extra month is added in certain years. It is much too complex to go into the details of the two calendar systems in this newsletter. I will spare you the perplexity that comes with it.
BIBLICAL ASTRONOMY ONLINE
The website for Biblical Astronomy is now under construction. At this time, previous newsletters (text only - no charts) are on the web page. Much more will be added to the site after the holidays. I welcome your feedback. The website address is:
My e-mail address is: email@example.com
There is a lot going on in the world that is not mentioned in the American media. Specifically in the Mid-East. What reports are given are somewhat twisted. I find the Internet very helpful on keeping updated on the news from Israel. There is also a lot of information on Astronomy on the Net. On the Biblical Astronomy website, I plan to have links to such information.
Another website that I find very instructive is Christian Research Ministries, made available by Bob Schlenker. The address: http://home.cwnet.com:80/crm/
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM
The second edition of The Star That Astonished the World, by Dr. Ernest L. Martin is now available to order for $15.00 from:
P.O. Box 455
Rutherford College, NC 28671
I find this to be the most informative work that I have read concerning historical and astronomical events surrounding the birth of the Messiah. I highly recommend it.
I see the glorious day,
When He who bore our sins away,
Will all His majesty display.
A Man of Sorrows once He was,
No friend was found to plead His cause,
As all preferred the world's applause.
He groaned beneath sin's awful load,
For in the sinner's place He stood,
And died to bring him back to God.
But now He waits, with glory crowned,
While angel hosts His throne surround,
And still His lofty praises sound.
To few on earth His name is dear,
And they who in His cause appear,
The world's reproach and scorn must bear.
Jesus, Thy name is all my boast,
And though by waves and trouble tossed,
Thou wilt not let my soul be lost.
Come then, come quickly from above,
My soul impatient longs to prove,
The depths of everlasting love."
Peace be to you and love with faith, from God the father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.