There is no shortage of eclipses this July. There are actually three of them that are visible from various locations on Planet Earth. Two partial solar eclipses will occur on July 1, and July 30. A total lunar eclipse will occur on July 16. None of these are visible from Jerusalem.
I was not aware of the two solar eclipses until very recently. I had some phone calls over the past month asking about the three eclipses and I answered that there could not be three eclipses in one month. I have never seen this happen. I have seen two (one solar and one lunar), but never three. I finally checked it out, and sure enough, there are two solar eclipses during two consecutive astronomical new moons. My deepest apologies to those whom I gave the wrong answer, especially to Mrs. Teigland from Waldorf, Minnesota.
I have found that it is actually not that uncommon for two solar eclipses to occur with two consecutive astronomical new moons. The following is from a Sky and Telescope news release on this subject.
“Whenever there’s an eclipse of either the Sun or the Moon, you can usually count on one or two eclipses of the other variety to be hovering in the wings just two weeks before and/or after. There’s a good reason for this. Both kinds of eclipses occur when the Moon lies close to the ecliptic, the line marking the Sun’s path around the constellations. If the Moon is there when it’s full, we get a lunar eclipse; if the Moon is near the ecliptic when new, we get a solar eclipse. And whenever the Moon is close to the ecliptic on one side of its orbit, it will be fairly close to it when on the opposite side of its orbit two weeks earlier and later.”
The last time that two solar and one lunar eclipse happened within a one month period was in 1982 when there was a partial solar eclipse on June 21 of that year, as well as a total lunar eclipse on July 6, and another partial solar eclipse on July 20. The next time that this will happen will be in the year 2018 when there will be a partial solar eclipse on July 13, a total lunar eclipse on July 27, and another partial solar eclipse on August 11. For all three such eclipses to fall within the same Gregorian calendar month is a bit rarer. The last time that this occurred was in 1805 when the eclipses fell on January 1, January 15, and January 30. The next time that this will occur will be in the year 2206 with the eclipses falling on December 1, December 16, and December 30.
Chart 157 shows the position of the sun during the partial solar eclipse on July 1. The planet Mars (Michael) is also in conjunction with the sun and moon in the constellation Gemini at that time. These celestial bodies are also near conjunction to the star Mebsuta, which means treading under feet. This Chart is shown as the heavens are seen from the southern tip of Chile and Argentina. This eclipse is only visible from that area of South America and remote areas in the Pacific Ocean.
Charts 155 and 156 show the position of the Moon in the constellation Sagittarius during the total lunar eclipse on July 16. Chart 156 is zoomed in for better definition. The lighter shadow is the penumbra and the darker is the umbra. This eclipse will be visible, though not seen in its entirety, in the early morning from the West Coast of the United States. The best places to be for viewing this grand lunar eclipse are Hawaii, the Pacific Ocean, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.
This is called a grand lunar eclipse because of its duration. Since the moon in this particular eclipse passes almost dead center through the earth’s shadow, totality lasts 1 hour and 47 minutes, which makes this the longest total lunar eclipse since August 13, 1859. This will be the longest total lunar eclipse until after the year 3000.
The moon should appear bright red from many (but not all) areas that it is observed from. For those who live near the West Coast of the U.S., the umbra (dark shadow) will begin to appear on the moon at about 3:53 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The moon will be totally eclipsed at 4:53 a.m. PDT and will set at 5:37 a.m. PDT.
Concerning the constellation Sagittarius. Does not this foreshadow what John saw in his apocalyptic vision concerning a mighty conqueror going forth? “I saw (he says) a white horse, and He that sat on him had a bow… and He went forth conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2).
Chart 158 shows the position of the sun and moon in the constellation Cancer during the partial solar eclipse on July 30, as seen from Seattle, Washington. The following is from Sky and Telescope.
“Late on Sunday afternoon, July 30th, the new Moon skims across the northern edge of the Sun as seen from Alaska, western Canada, and the northwestern United States. For Americans northwest of a line from Montana through central California, the setting Sun will show at least a small dent in its top or upper right side. Seattle gets a fine show, with 31 percent of the Sun’s diameter being covered around 8:10 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time a little before sunset.
A partial solar eclipse can threaten people’s eyesight by inducing them to stare at the bright Sun. But sometimes the setting Sun is so deeply dimmed and reddened that people routinely gaze at it without a second thought. Sunset conditions vary greatly, so discretion is advised. If the Sun is bright enough to be uncomfortable to look at – almost certainly the case when it’s more than a couple of degrees off the horizon – use a safe solar filter. If you look at a dull red Sun with unprotected eyes, keep your looks short.”
The following is the New Moon report for July compiled by Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel.
“None of the observers who have reported in so far have seen the moon on the evening of Sunday July 2, 2000. The moon was NOT seen in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Ramla, Arad, and elsewhere. We are expecting further reports and will send them as they become available.
We received further reports for July 2, 2000 and all were negative. The moon was not seen from anywhere in Israel on July 2. The moon was seen on July 3, 2000 by Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem. The moon was easily visible.”
It appears that the lower boundary for the visibility of the new moon is still 1% illumination and 8 degrees above the horizon at 5 minutes after sunset. The first day of the fourth month began at sunset on July 3. The next new moon should first be visible near sunset on August 1.
COMET 1999S4 UPDATE
It appears at this time that Comet LINEAR 1999S4 will not reach naked eye visibility. Charles S. Morris with the Dreamweaver Observatory in Filmore, CA took the below photo of this comet on July 4.
As of July 6, the comet reached a magnitude of 8.1. Comet 1999S4 will most likely not become brighter than magnitude 6. But it should be easily observed with binoculars if you know where to look.
Chart 159 shows the path of the comet from July 9 to July 23 as it travels from Perseus to Ursa Major. The comet will reach its closest approach to Earth (~34.6 million miles) on July 22 at 8:45 p.m. Jerusalem Daylight Time. Charts 161 and 162 show the position of Comet 1999S4 when it is at its closest approach to Earth. The comet will be in Ursa Major – the larger flock – at this time. The following is a list of some of the star names in Ursa Major and their meanings.
Dubhe – herd of animals or a flock
Merach - (Hebrew) the flock; (Arabic) Purchased
Phacda – visited, or numbered as a flock (Psalm 147:4)
Mizar – separate
Al Kaid – the assembled
El Alcola – (Arabic) the sheepfold
Cab’d al Asad – multitude, many assembled
Annaish – the assembled
Megrez – separated
El Kaphrah – protected, covered; (Heb.) redeemed and ransom
The following scripture goes well with the theme set in this constellation. Ezek. 34:12-16:
“As a shepherd seeketh out his flock
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
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
There shall they live in a good fold,
And in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains
I will feed my flock,
And I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God
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 judgement.”
Chart 160 shows the path of the comet from July 23 to August 18 as it travels from Ursa Major to and through Bethulah (Virgo) the woman.
WYE CAMP DAVID
The following is a commentary by Gary M. Cooperberg from Hebron, Israel written on July 6.
“President Clinton, with his inimitable style and charm, nobly announced his decision to convene a summit meeting next week at Camp David with Arafat and Barak. He stated his assumption that, ‘If the parties do not seize this moment, if they cannot make progress now, there will be more hostility and more bitterness, perhaps even more violence, and to what end? Eventually, after more bloodshed and tears, they will have to come back to the negotiating table. They will have to return to face the same history, the same geography, the same demographic trends, the same passions, and the same hatreds, and, I am sure, the exact same choices that confront them here and now.’
The President is dead wrong. First of all there is no possibility that any compromise will be reached. We are dealing with conflicting ideology, with two parties claiming exclusive rights to the same land. We are definitely heading toward not only more violence, bloodshed and tears, but to a very real and terrible war. War is something that should be avoided if possible. But sometimes it is not possible. That is the nature of Mankind. Even the United States entered into wars, not because it was good, rather because there was no choice. And there is no choice now.
While our “ethical” President proclaims such lofty values, he deliberately ignores bitter reality. The PLO is not an equal partner in negotiations with a fellow nation. It is an overblown band of thugs whose sole purpose for existence is to destroy the Jewish State. No Jewish leader or government has the moral right to negotiate our homeland with anyone, much less with a gang of terrorists.
The President of the United States is not a stupid man. He knows what Arafat is, and he is well aware of the Islamic goal to destroy the Jewish State. He is an outright liar when he says, ‘The Israeli and the Palestinian people have leaders now who are visionary enough, courageous enough, capable of building a fair, just, and lasting peace.’ That sounds real nice, but it is based upon nothing but words of a good speechwriter. No one on the planet has yet built a just and lasting peace anywhere. What makes him think that Barak and Arafat can do what no two Arab nations have yet accomplished among their own people?
Clinton is a master of doubletalk and he really makes an impression when he speaks. But if we just scratch the surface and analyze his remarks it is easy to see the demagoguery. Look at how the President describes his view of peace – ‘a peace that can fulfill the Israeli people’s quest for security, for recognition, for genuine reconciliation with the Palestinians, and genuine acceptance in the region – acceptance with deeds, as well as words; a peace that can fulfill the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations to determine their destiny on their own land…’
What is the Israeli people’s quest? Certainly we want security, but that only comes from having a strong army and defensible borders. Recognition will result from accepting our role and maintaining our dignity and self-respect, certainly not by retreating from our obligations. And what about ‘genuine reconciliation with the “Palestinians’”? Should we perhaps apologize for existing? What exactly does the President feel we need to reconcile with these murderers? And then he has the nerve to suggest that the PLO has a legitimate right to determine their own destiny in my homeland and to take it from me and call it theirs!!! This is a contradiction in terms and Clinton knows it. This is a clear call on the part of the President of the United States for the Jewish State to surrender to the PLO!!!! And it is an outrageous overstepping of his bounds as an alleged impartial mediator. I never expected much from the likes of Clinton, but my real problem is that Barak should also realize what he is heading for.
The end of the line in this process is only war. Like it or not, that is the only way the differences of the parties will be resolved. Either we will destroy the PLO or they will destroy us. It is not nice, but it is honest. Thus being the case, it makes no sense for Barak to go to Washington, any more than it made sense for Netanyahu to go to Wye. The bottom line is that Israel has nothing to gain, and much to lose by participating in a fraud which lends credence to the claim of our enemies that all or part of Israel really belongs to them. Just by going to such a meeting is an act of surrender which all have perilous consequences for the Jewish State.
Barak may have been elected by the people, but that does not give him the right to arbitrarily surrender to our enemies. It is clear that at the present he does not enjoy the support he assumes that he had when he was first elected. It is nothing short of arrogance that sees him presuming to have the backing of the Israeli people to attend Clinton’s farewell party which will find him cutting up the Jewish State rather than a cake.”
PLO TO DECLARE STATE SEPT. 13, BARAK THREATENS ANNEXATION: Arutz-7, July 4 -- “The PLO Central Counsel decided last night to declare a Palestinian state on September 13. Prime Minister Barak said yesterday that if the Palestinian Authority unilaterally declares a state, Israel will annex the areas in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Yesha) planned for the settlements blocs. Justice Minister Yossi Beilin said today that the Palestinians will gain nothing from declaring a state that Israel does not recognize.
A senior PA official has called on the Islamic Jihad and Hamas to join forces with the PA in anticipation of what he called ‘the final battle with Israel.’ Imad Falouji, responsible for PA Communications, told reporters last night that the battle will develop after Arafat’s declaration of a state. He said that there will be a war over Jerusalem, and predicted that ‘no settler will be able to return to his home.’”
PA FORCES PREPARING FOR WAR: Arutz-7, July 5 – “The Palestinian forces are equipped with dozens of machine guns, hand grenades, mines, RPG launchers, and Lau missiles. So states the security memorandum that was submitted to government leaders. Arutz-7’s Haggai Huberman reports, ‘The PA has a fighting military force numbering thousands of soldiers armed with light weapons, anti-tank weapons,’ and more, according to the memorandum. The report also discusses the internal strife among Palestinian forces, the PA’s lack of territorial contiguity, and the clear military advantage that Israel enjoys over the Palestinians.”
BARAK HAS ALREADY GIVEN IN: Arutz-7, July 9 – Voice of Israel Radio reported late this afternoon that diplomatic sources in Jerusalem say that Barak and the Palestinians are already close to a final agreement, and that it involves “far reaching Israeli concessions.” Details on the concessions were not provided. Despite the resignations and threats to resign looming in the background, Barak headed today’s weekly Cabinet meeting by reviewing the preparations for the Camp David summit and detailing the main issues on the agenda. He reiterated his confidence that if an agreement is achieved, it will be ratified by an overwhelming popular majority. The Prime Minister emphasized that the government is aware of the great responsibility entailed in not achieving an agreement. Despite the fact that the Knesset will vote on a number of no-confidence motions against Barak tomorrow, and despite the uncertainty over whether the government will fall as a result, Barak at present has no plans to call off his trip to Washington.
Barak said that specifying “red lines” in exact detail is liable to weaken Israel’s negotiating position – but he did note these lines in a general form: no return to the 1967 lines, a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, no foreign army west of the Jordan River, a majority of the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to remain settlement blocks, and no Israeli recognition of legal or moral responsibility for creating a refugee problem.
It is certain that the temperature is rising. We’ll see if things cool off or get hotter. May the grace and mercy of Yahshuah HaMashiach be with you all in all circumstances.