Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Report for the 5th Hebrew month of the year (month of Av).
“On Saturday July 21, 2001 the New Moon was sighted by 3 observers from Beitar, south of Jerusalem. Among the observers was Hillel Skolnik who sighted the moon at approximately 20:08. The other observers saw the moon intermittently between 20:00 and 20:10.”
The next New Moon, which will begin the 6th Hebrew month (Elul), will most likely be observed near sunset on August 20, 2001.
COMET C/2001 A2 (LINEAR) IN OUTBURST AGAIN
Comet LINEAR C/2001 A2 went into a major outburst on July 12 and significantly increased in brightness. The comet was in the constellation Pegasus when the outburst occurred. See charts 213 and 214 in the July 2001 issue of Biblical Astronomy for the comet’s path with dates, and also the article on the comet, page 2, concerning the constellation Pegasus.
The following is from a short article by Charles S. Morris, Comet Observation Homepage, on July 13, 2001.
“My own observations show that this comet increased in brightness from magnitude 5.1 to 4.4 in about a 24 hour period. This suggests yet another chunk has broken off the nucleus. The comet should be monitored for further brightness changes.
Michael Mattiazzo (Wallaroo, South Austrlia) was apparently the first person to notice the outburst on July 12.56 UT. He reports below that there was a stellar condensation at that time, which he correctly predicted was the beginning of an outburst. Good catch, Michael!
Michael Mattiazzo writes…’Just a reminder that Earth crosses the orbital plane of comet LINEAR C/2001 A2 around July 15-16th. From this, we may expect enhancement of a dust tail in the solar and anti solar directions. However, as this comet is low in dust production, we may not see anything at all!’”
As of July 30th the comet had dimmed to a magnitude of 6.5
On July 17, the moon passed in front of Venus covering the planet for 1 hour and 8 minutes. I somehow missed this event in the July newsletter and didn’t know about it until after it happened.
Venus disappeared behind the moon at 10:24 am PDT and reappeared at 11:32 am PDT. This was not observable from Jerusalem, and only those with binoculars or telescopes could observe this event in the daytime sky. The following is a short article from a Sky & Telescope news bulletin dated July 18.
Venus Occultation Is a Hit – It wasn’t just solar observers who took an interest in the daytime sky yesterday. During a midday event visible in binoculars and small telescopes, the waning crescent Moon passed in from of brilliant Venus. Observers in southern Canada, northern Mexico, and all of the United States except Alaska witnessed both the disappearance and reappearance of the planet in this unusually favorable occultation.
Chart 221 shows the location of the moon and Venus in the constellation Taurus at the time of the occultation. The planet Saturn was also fairly close to the moon and Venus at that time. Again, the main theme of the constellation Taurus is Messiah, the coming Judge of all the earth. It was just 2 days earlier, on August 15, when Venus and Saturn came into conjunction. See July 2001 issue of Biblical Astronomy, page 2. Also see the April 2001 and May/June 2001 issues of Biblical Astronomy for other recent celestial events that have occurred in Taurus.
The following is from Joseph A. Seiss’ book The Gospel in the Stars (1882), pp. 100-101 concerning the constellation Taurus.
My horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn, - Psalm 92:10
“Many of the Jewish writers and Jewish Targum ascribe the authorship of this psalm to Adam, the first man. The Jewish ritual appointed it as the special psalm for the Sabbath day. It celebrates, first of all, the glories and blessings of creation. It then anticipates a period of great apostasy, wickedness, and prosperity to the enemies of Jehovah. But beyond that it contemplates the speedy and invincible overthrow and destruction of the workers of iniquity, followed by a glorious Sabbath of everlasting righteousness and peace. And in connection with the violent scattering and perishing of the enemies of the Lord it particularly emphasizes a special and peculiar exaltation of power and dominion of the Messiah, who speaks in the Psalmist, and says that His “horn”—His power, His active dominion – shall be “like the horn of an unicorn.”
The Unicorn, or Reem – It has long been a question what animal is meant by the Reem, which is so often referred to in the ancient Scriptures, and which translators have generally called the unicorn. But modern research and discovery have served to clear up the subject in a manner entirely satisfactory. The reem is not a one-horned creature, like the rhinoceros, as has generally been supposed, but a pure animal of the ox kind, though wild, untamable, fierce, and terrible. Two passages prove that it was a great two-horned and mighty creature, now, so far as known, entirely extinct, but once common in North-western Asia, Assyria, and Middle Europe. Remains of it have of late years been discovered in the north of Palestine, and Caesar, in the account of his wars, describes it as being hunted in the Hercynian forest of his day. It was known as the primeval ox, or wild bull, different altogether from the bison or the great antelope, sometimes taken for it. It was a formidable animal, “scarcely less than the elephant in size, but in nature, and color, and form a true ox.” Its strength and speed were very great, and it was so fierce that it did not spare man or beast when it caught sight of them. It was wholly intractable, and could not be habituated to man, not matter how young it was taken. This fact is set out in the book of Job (39:9-12), where it is said: ‘Will the reem be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the reem and his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou thrust him because his strength is great: or wilt thou leave thy labor to him? Wilt thou believe him that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
This animal was particularly distinguished for its great, outspread, sharp, and irresistible horns, to which the horns of ordinary oxen were not to be compared. Hence, Caesar says, when a hunter succeeded in killing one, pitfalls being the chief means of capture, he made a public exhibition of the horns as the trophies of his success, and was the wonder and praise of all who beheld. Joseph (Deut. 33:17), in his superiority of power, is likened to the reem, of which his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were the two great horns which were to push the people to the ends of the earth. And to this mighty, untamable, and invincible primeval ox the Messiah compares himself in connection with the great judgment upon the wicked world; for then His horn shall be exalted like the horn of a reem. Toward His Church He is the Lamb, but toward the unsanctified world He finally becomes the terrible reem.
But, what is very marvelous, the picture which the Messiah appropriates to himself so exultingly in the text is precisely the picture which is presented in the sign in the Zodiac which now comes before us—the sign Taurus, the first of the final quaternary in the celestial circle.
FIREBALL SEEN OVER NORTHEAST UNITED STATES
Sky & Telescope news bulletin, July 24 – At around 6:19 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, a brilliant meteor shot through the skies above the northeastern United States. Reports of a daytime fireball stretch from Ahoskie, North Carolina, all the way to Buffalo, New York, and Bobcaygeon, Ontario (near Peterborough).
John Castagna of Woodbridge, Virginia, described the object as “much brighter than any daytime full moon, and not unlike the brightness you might associate with a sparkler lit in daytime.”
Near Williamsport, Pennsylvania, windows were raffled by a loud crashing noise, described by many as a deafening thunderclap. Some thought the bolide was a falling airplane and county emergency services received over 300 calls to 911 switchboards from concerned citizens.
Les Gruver, Emergency Management Coordinator for Lycoming County, described to Sky & Telescope a burnt patch of a cornfield in salladasburg, Pennsylvania, just north of Williamsport. Several cornstalks were blown over and leaves appeared curled from heat. However, no meteorite was found.
Chart 222 is a map from S&T which shows where the meteor entered the atmosphere and direction of travel, as well as where it evaporated or blew apart. Each dot shows the location of an eyewitness to the event.
Northwest Fireball Pinpointed: S&T July 27 – It now appears that Monday’s dazzling daylight fireball punched through the atmosphere over central Pennsylvania and may have scattered meteorites over the rugged woodlands of Sproul State Forest. Defense satellites tracked the meteoroid’s flare for several seconds beginning at 6:19:11 Eastern Daylight Time. The path began over Scranton and ended 140 kilometers to the west over the town of Williamsport, during which it dropped in altitude from 82 to 32 km. Despite occurring in daylight, the meteor was bright enough to be spotted by eyewitnesses from Canada to Virginia.
In its final moments the fireball created a deafening sonic boom that shook the ground. Meteor expert Peter Brown (Los Alamos National Laboratory), who is analyzing the satellite records, told Sky & Telescope, “I can almost guarantee that this object broke up.” He says that reconstructing the object’s orbit and flight path are proving difficult because the entry velocity is uncertain, though it is probably in the “asteroidal” range of 17 to 20 km per second. Brown believes that whatever remains of the incoming object probably fell in an elongated pattern up to 30 km long.
The meteoroid’s size is also still a guess. The satellite’s visible and infrared sensors recorded 1.3 billion joules of luminous energy, which corresponds to a kinetic-energy wallop equivalent to 3,000 tons of TNT (one-fifth that of the Hiroshima bomb). Meteoroids in this energy range strike the Earth roughly 10 times each year. If it was stony, as most meteorites are, such an object would have weighed 30 to 90 tons and been the size of a car. However, Brown says acoustic and seismic data argue for much less kinetic energy and, in turn, a much smaller object. “I’d hoped to have had some meteorites recovered by now,” Brown concludes, but the many uncertainties diminish that possibility. “That’s why I’m here in New Mexico instead of heading for Pennsylvania.”
Jupiter (Tzedeq – the Lord Our Righteousness) and Venus (the bright and morning star) will come into close conjunction in the constellation Gemini (Messiah’s reign as Prince of Peace) on August 5/6, 2001.
Charts 223 and 224 show the positions of the two planets at the time of conjunction as seen in the early morning sky from Jerusalem, Israel. Jupiter and Venus will be about 1 degree apart at their closest approach to one another as seen from earth.
Nestled dead center between the two planets is the star Tejat Posterior. This star is labeled in Chart 223. There is nothing on this star in Rolleston’s, Bullinger’s, or Seiss’ manuscripts. I spent hours going through all the literature that I have trying to find the Arabic interpretation of Tejat. All I could find was a reference to it out of Richard Hinkley Allen’s book, Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning (1899), which states “…but in Flamsteeds edition of Tycho’s catalogue we distinctly read of it, dicta Calx, the Heel.
I then decided to do a search for the word Tejat on the Excite search engine on the internet, and this is what came up from a secular website. Fixed star: Tejat Posterior. English Translation: Back foot. The Heel. Seed or Branch. Symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One.
The Messiah is referred to many times in scripture as the Seed and also as the Branch. He was also abused and beaten at the time of the crucifixion. This was the fulfillment of one part of the prophecy first given in Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heal. It was the Messiah’s heel that was bruised (figuratively speaking and literally) when he came to be a sacrifice for and to suffer for all mankind.
The constellation Gemini shows two figures. The one on the left represents the suffering messiah, and the one on the right represents the exalted and glorious Messiah, when he triumphs over the serpents seed, fulfilling the other part of the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, which will soon be fulfilled. In all figures in the heavens that portray the wounding of the head of the serpent and the serpent’s seed, the woman’s seed is seen crushing the serpent’s or enemy’s head with his left foot or heal. As seen with Ophiuchus and the Scorpion, or Hercules and the Dragon, and also with Orion and Lepus (which was portrayed in ancient planespheres as a coiled serpent).
It is in this figure in Gemini, that represents the once abused and beaten, but now glorified Messiah in His triumph over His ancient foe, that we find this star Tejat Posterior in the left heal, the heal and foot that is to crush the enemy. (Note: most pictures of this constellation show Tejat in the left ankle of this figure in Gemini, but the star is in the heel, as its name implies).
And here on August 5/6, the two brightest planets in the heavens, greatly outshining the brightest of stars, both representing the Messiah in various forms, come into close conjunction with this star in their midst.
I have not yet checked throughout hundreds and thousands of years to see how rare this event is, or if it has ever happened before, but it is probably very rare for these three heavenly bodies to come into such close proximity to each other at one time.
It is that time of the year again for one of the best meteor showers of the year, the Perseids. The following is a Sky & Telescope article by Roger W. Sinnott concerning this year’s event.
Perseid Prospects in 2001 – “The Perseids are the Old Faithful of meteor showers. That’s worth remembering, even if the last-quarter Moon will interfere somewhat on August 12th, when the height of this year’s display is due. The shower actually lasts two weeks or so, but in the days leading up to the peak the shower will be largely wiped out by an even brighter Moon.
Our best bet in 2001 is to catch the Persieds on the morning of the 12th, as the peak of the shower is expected to arrive between 8h and 10h Universal Time. Good views may also be had on several mornings thereafter, when the waning crescent Moon will produce less glare. Activity increases sharply in the hours after midnight, so plan your observing sessions accordingly. We are then looking more nearly face-on into the direction of the Earth’s motion as it orbits the Sun. The radiant, or point from which the Perseids appear to come, is also rising higher in the sky as dawn approaches for observers in mid-northern latitudes.
In a dark, moonless sky, when the radiant is 30 degrees or more above the horizon, observers often see 60 or more Perseids per hour at the shower’s peak. Careful counts, can be corrected by standard methods to yield a zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) telling how many meteors would have been seen if the radiant were directly overhead. The ZHR is the bread and butter of meteor astronomy, a crucial parameter for studying long-term changes in the shower’s strength and for ranking it among other showers.”
The radiant of the Perseids Meteor Shower is between the sword of Perseus (“the Breaker” delivering the redeemed) and Cassiopeia (The captive delivered, and preparing for her Husband, the Redeemer).
Bob Wadsworth will be speaking on Recent Signs in the Heavens at the Beaverton-Tigard, Oregon Chapter of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship luncheon starting at 12 noon on Wednesday August 15, at Sayler’s Country Kitchen located at the intersection of Beaverton-Hillsdale Hiway at Griffith Drive (across from Beaverton Town Center, near Beaverton City Hall). For general questions call:
John Gould, Chapter President, at 503 644-8702 or
Peter Reding, National Director, at 503 292-2161
The grace, mercy and love of Yahshuah HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) be with you all.