December 2001


Editor – Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 2272, Oregon City, OR 97045

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            Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem Israel compiled the following New Moon Report for the month of December and the beginning of the 10th month on the Hebrew Calendar.

            On Sunday December 16, 2001 the New Moon was sighted from Israel.  The moon was sighted by Nehemia Gordon at 16:53 from Jerusalem; Devorah Gordon at 17:00 from Jerusalem; and Daniel Mark at 17:08 from Givat Yearim.  Rosh Hodesh Same’ach (Happy New Moon Day!).





            Comet C/2000 WM1 did not reach its most optimistically forecasted brightness on December 2, 2001 when it came to its closest approach to the earth at 29.4 million miles.  The peak brightness of the comet was magnitude 5, which is just within naked eye brightness.  One would have to have very dark skies and know exactly where to look in order to see the comet with the naked eye.  The comet was and is a good binocular object though.  I haven’t seen it yet because of days and days, or should I say nights and nights, of cloud cover here in Oregon.  The comet will reach perihelion (closest approach to the sun) on January 22.

Chart 239 shows the position of Comet Linear in the heavens above the south-southeast horizon as seen from Jerusalem on December 2, 2001.  The comet was visible in that portion of the sky from dusk to about 1:30 am (at least to those who knew where to look for it or had binoculars). 

The comet at that time was just above the tail of Cetus (the beast from the sea) and below the constellation Pisces (representative of the nation of Israel).  It is the beast from the sea who is the enemy of Israel.  As the comet was above Israel on that evening (December 2) and on the previous evening (December 1), Israel was encountering her worst terrorist attacks since the “Oslo Peace War” began in September 2000, as you may recall from newscasts surrounding that weekend.  Below is a news brief released by Arutz Sheva – Israel National News on December 2.


24 Hours of Terror In Israel – Israel has suffered a catastrophic 24 hours of terrorism – the worst since the Oslo Peace War began – with the murder of 26 people in a series of Palestinian terror attacks throughout the country.  Ten teenagers lost their lives late last night in downtown Jerusalem at the hands of two suicide bombers; a professor was murdered by two Arabs as he drove in northern Gaza early this morning; and fifteen bus passengers were murdered when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Haifa this afternoon.


            Since then, Israel retaliated and terrorist attacks continue.  The “Olso Peace War” escalated another notch and will most likely continue to escalate.  Meanwhile, the US war on terrorism seems to be moving positively ahead, though it may escalate to various theatres soon.  I pray that the US is successful at routing out the evildoers, but have my reservations if all will go as smoothly as it has thus far gone.  If this be the season of the tribulation or pre-tribulation period, there are horrific events to follow.  Have no fear of these matters, but look to the Lord and seek His love, wisdom and peace.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.

            Chart 240 shows the path of Comet Linear (C/2000 WM1) from December 1, to December 30, 2001.  There is a possibility that the comet will brighten as it reaches perihelion, but this remains to be seen.  The comet will not be visible from the Northern Hemisphere of earth at that time.



            The following is from the December 2001 issue of Astronomy magazine.

            “An annular eclipse occurs on December 14 for observers in the vicinity of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  The moon will not totally block the sun in this event because the moon is slightly farther away from Earth in its monthly orbit – a positioning responsible for impressive “ring of fire” effect around the moon during such an eclipse.  (Warning:  This annular eclipse is not safe to view with the naked eye).  In North America the eclipse will only be a partial one.  Most of the eastern part of the United States will witness an amazing sunset on the 14th as the partially obscured sun dips below the horizon.  Those observers in the deep southeastern U.S. should see a more robust partial eclipse.”


            Chart 241 shows the position of the sun and moon in the constellation Ophiuchus during the eclipse.  The sun and moon are just above the eastern foot of Ophiuchus.  Ophiuchus represents the “seed” of the woman in his struggle with the serpent and the serpent’s seed.  This is first prophesied in the written word in Genesis 3:15 as God spoke to the serpent.


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.


This struggle is again mentioned in Revelation 12:17 concerning the dragon (serpent) and the woman’s seed.


And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


            The seed of the woman is both the Messiah and the nation of Israel.

            The eastern foot of Ophiuchus represents the foot, or heel, that is wounded by the serpent, here being from the malignant sting of the scorpion.  The scorpion is putting forth its malignant sting toward the seed of the woman, the nation of Israel, but the coming Messiah will soon crush his head.  Until then all things must be fulfilled according to the prophecies in the Holy Scriptures.

            Chart 242 is a close up view of the sun and moon during the eclipse on December 14, as seen from the Costa Rica area.  The labels for the sun and moon are overlapped on this chart.





            The moon will once again occult the planet Saturn on December 28.  This is the last in a series of three occultations of Saturn by the moon within a four-month period beginning on September 10, 2001.  The other occultation occurred on November 30.  According to the publication What’s Out Tonight, by Ken Graun, this is the last visible occultation of Saturn by the moon that will visible from North America until the year 2024, in which there is one occultation on September 17.  I have yet to check my astronomy programs to see if this is so.

            The following is from an article in the December issue of Astronomy magazine concerning the event.

            “Two rare events occur a month apart when the moon hides Saturn in an occultation.  On November 30, visible from most of North America, the full moon will close the drapes on Saturn.  The brightness of the moon will make viewing the event a little more difficult, but it is spectacular nonetheless.  West Coast observers will miss Saturn’s disappearance but can watch its reappearance the following moonrise.

            One full lunar orbit later, in the predawn hours of December 28, the moon passes in front of Saturn again as seen from North America.  The entire event, both disappearance and reappearance, is visible from all the United States, Hawaii, regions in Canada and northern Mexico.  This time the moon is two days short of full, and while it’s still very bright, Saturn will disappear behind the dark limb of the moon.

            Exact times of the disappearance depend on your geographic location.  Approximate times for eastern, central and western United States are at 4 A.M. EST in New York, 2:40 A.M. CST in Kansas City, and 12:10 A.M. PST in Sunnyvale, California.  You can get more details about this event by visiting the website of the International Occultation Timing Association at:    


            Chart 243 shows the position of the moon and Saturn during the occultation in the eye of Taurus.  The sign Taurus is representative of Messiah, the coming Judge of all the earth.  But before this happens, the false messiah will have his reign of terror.




            There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on December 30.  A penumbral eclipse is when the moon is covered by the penumbral shadow of the earth.  This shadow is very light and hard to detect except for an experienced observer.  The following is an article from the December 2001 issue of Astronomy magazine concerning the event.

            “On December 30 the full moon passes into the penumbral shadow of Earth.  Look for the slight darkening of the moon’s southern limb around 4:29 A.M. CDT, the time of mid-eclipse.  This effect is often so faint, though, that casual observers won’t notice anything peculiar.  The moon will not enter the full shadow of Earth, therefore no partial eclipse will occur.  The effects of the penumbral shadow may be detected about 45 minutes before and after the mid-phase, although technically the eclipse lasts about four hours.”

            Chart 244 shows the position of the moon in the constellation Gemini at mid-eclipse.  The moon will pass 1.2 degrees north of the planet Jupiter about 90 minutes after mid-eclipse.




            I almost forgot about this one.  Saturn (Satan) reached opposition (its closest approach to the earth for the year) on December 3.  Saturn is seen at its brightest magnitude for the year when it is at opposition.  December 3 is also close to the December 1 and 2 date, when Comet Linear reached its closest approach to the earth and a number of terrorist attacks were committed against Israel.  See the article “Confirming of the Covenant?” in the November 1998 issue of Biblical Astronomy for pertinent information on Saturn at opposition.




Sky & Telescope – Thurs. Nov. 22 – “Two decades ago, after carefully analyzing the Moon’s cratered face, the late Eugene Shoemaker estimated that nearly 2,000 asteroids at least 1 kilometer across must exist with some chance of striking Earth.  A collision of that magnitude, though rare, would have disastrous consequences for life.  Small, dedicated teams of astronomers have been trying to track down these potentially hazardous asteroids ever since, but lately there’s been a growing consensus that Shoemaker overestimated the impact threat.  Recent studies have put the count of 1-km-wide-near-Earth asteroids (NEA’s) under 1,000, with one research team suggesting that it could be as low as 700.

            However, a new assessment, published in the November 23rd issue of Science, has ratcheted the population estimate back up to near 1,250.  The higher count comes from J. Scott Stuart (MIT Lincoln Laboratory), who analyzed nearly three years of NEA discoveries from the prolific LINEAR telescope near Socorro, New Mexico.  Between March 1998 and February 2001, LINEAR covered almost 500,000 square degrees of sky and discovered 657 near-Earth asteroids – along with more that 110,000 new main-belt asteroids.  Stuarts assessment uses the 606 NEA’s found on the best nights.

            His computer simulations explored possible orbital characteristics for NEA’s and determined which of those orbits would have led to a discovery by LINEAR.  Besides yielding a large population of 1-km NEA’s, the resulting statistics argue that many of them have orbits with inclinations near 23 degrees.  This sizable tilt is shared by hundreds of objects belonging to the Phocaea and Hungaria “families” in the inner asteroid belt.

            Because LINEAR has found so many more NEA’s than any other search effort, asteroid specialists will likely consider Stuart’s results the most definitive….

            In 1992 a NASA-sponsored report backed a plan to locate 90 percent of all kilometer-size NEA’s within a decade.  After a slow start, that search is well under way, with about 550 of these large Earth-crossers now catalogued.  But if the total population is well above 1,000, as Stuart suggests, then most of them await discovery.  Reaching the 90-percent threshold could take LINEAR another 40 years, he estimates, because of diminishing returns over time.  Harris thinks that’s overly pessimistic, but he agrees that asteroid-hunters have decades of work yet ahead of them.”


I wish you all a merry and joyful holiday season.