Unfortunately my computer went down again, which caused another delay in getting this newsletter out in a timely fashion. This time I ended up having to get a new motherboard. I lost many files including e-mails, e-mail addresses, and most important, the Biblical Astronomy mailing list. Fortunately, I had a hard copy of the mailing list and just had to retype all the addresses. I may not have a few of the recent address changes that were sent to me via e-mail and phone on the new list. Please let me know if your address is incorrect. Hopefully, this will be the last time into the far future that I have major computer problems.
The following is the New Moon Report for the Hebrew Month Tebet, compiled by Magdi Shamuel and Nehemia Gordon, Jerusalem, Israel.
“On Sunday 24 December 2000 the old moon was sighted by Magdi from Ashdod until 6:37 am with the naked eye, by Musa from Ofakim until 6:30 and from Petah Tikvah until 6:32.
New Moon – On Wednesday 27 December 2000 the New Moon was sighted by Magdi from Ashdod at 16:44 (before sunset), from Petah Tikva at 16:48 with the naked eye, by Musa from Ofalkim at 16:47, by Nehemia from Jerusalem at 16:51, and by Isaac Sergani from Hatzerim (Negev) at 16:54.”
Tebet 1 was from sunset December 27 to sunset December 28.
There was a total lunar eclipse visible from Jerusalem on the evening of January 9, 2001.
The below photo of the eclipse was taken by Schindler Leung of Hong Kong. The moon was red in color as seen from that location.
I have no confirmation at this time if the moon was blood red as seen from Jerusalem.
There are some very interesting factors concerning this eclipse. It was on the evening of January 9/10, 1 B.C. that another total eclipse occurred over Jerusalem. Dr. Earnest L. Martin (as well as myself) leans strongly toward that being the eclipse that occurred shortly before the death of Herod as mentioned by Josephus (see Dr. Earnest L. Martins book The Star That Astonished the World, 2nd ed., pp 119-155). It was on the evening of that eclipse that Herod had Matthias, the high priest, and other rabbis put to death, burnt alive (Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, XVII, vi, 4).
It is amazing enough that these two eclipses which occurred on the evenings of January 9/10, 1 B.C. and January 9/10, 2001 occurred on the same Gregorian date (actually within 1.5 hours of each other as seen from Jerusalem), but both dates, sunset January 9, to sunset January 10, in 1 B.C. and 2001 are the same Hebrew date, Tebet 14.
The eclipse that occurred in 1 B.C. was in the constellation Cancer. Because of the precessional movement of the earth, the celestial coordinate of the eclipse of January 9, 1 BC is less than 1.2 degrees from the celestial coordinate where the moon was during the January 9, 2001 eclipse; very close. That coordinate is located between the letter “W” in the star name Wasat, and the letter “a” in the word “Earth” as seen on Chart 184. These are some very rare and interesting factors.
So what do all of these factors signify? For the time being I will leave that to the speculation of the readers. One point that I will make here is that it was when Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and told him to Arise, and take the young child (Jesus) and his mother back into the land of Israel (Matt. 2:19-21).
The following are excerpts from Joseph A. Seiss’ book The Gospel in the Stars, pp 111-114, concerning the constellation Gemini.
“The Sign of Gemini - We have here two youthful-looking and most beautiful figures peacefully sitting together, with their feet resting on the Milky Way. Their heads lean against each other in a loving attitude. The one holds a great club [cycle in the picture on Chart 183] in his right hand, whilst his left is clasped around the body of his companion. The other holds a harp in one hand and a bow and arrow [double arrow in the picture on Chart 183] in the other. Both the club and the bow and arrow are in repose, the same as the figures which hold them. The club, unlifted, lies against the shoulder of the one, and the bow, unstrung, rests in the hand of the other. The picture looks like readiness for warlike action, but at the same time like a joyful repose after a great victory already gained. We will presently see that it means all that it significantly portrays what is set forth in the text and in many places in the Scriptures…
In some other showings, however, these two figures are not of one sex. In the Zodiac of Dendera the figure is that of a man walking hand in hand with a woman. The same are sometimes called Adam and Eve. But the male figure is not the literal first Adam, but the mystic second Adam, the same Seed of the woman who everywhere appears in these celestial frescoes. The figure in the Egyptian sphere has an appendage which signifies the Coming One – the Messiah-Prince. And having identified the masculine figure, there can be no difficulty in identifying the accompanying female figure. The Lamb has a bride, a wife, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, and destined for an everlasting union with Him in glory and dominion. And this Eve, made out of His side in the deep sleep of death to which He submitted for the purpose, is none other than the Church, which here appears in celestial union with her sublime Lord. Even the word Gemini, in the original Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, whence it has come, does not run so much on the idea of two brought forth at the same birth, as upon the idea of something completed, as of a year come to the full or as of a long betrothal brought to its consummation in perfected marriage. The old Coptic name of this sign, Pi Mahi, signifies the United, the Completely joined.
The Star-Names – And when we closely examine the names still retained in this constellation, we find ample indication that these figures were meant to set forth Christ and His Church in that great marriage-union which is to be completed in the heavens during that very judgment-period to which these last four signs refer. In the left foot of the southern figure of Gemini shines a conspicuous star, named Al Henah, the Hurt, the Wounded. This figure, then, must refer to Him whose heel was to be bruised. So the principle star in his head is called Pollux, the Ruler, the Judge, and sometimes Herakles, or Hercules, the mighty sufferer and toiler, who frees the world of all otherwise unmanageable powers of evil. In the centre of his body is another bright star, called Wasat, which means Set, Seated, or Put in place, as it is said, “I am set on the throne of Israel,” “there are set thrones of judgment,” “the judgment was set,” “I am set in my ward;” which specially describes what is prophesied of Christ in connection with the completion of His marriage with His Church. [The moon was in very close proximity to the star Wasat during the eclipse of January 9, 2001, and the celestial coordinate of where the eclipse of January 9, 1 B.C. occurred is now very close to Wasat]…
And, in perfect accord with these indications, this figure holds in his right hand the great club of power, as the One who bruises the Serpent’s head and breaks in pieces all antagonisms to His rule or to His people’s peace. The Egyptians called him Hor, or Horus, the Coming One, the son of light, the slayer of the serpent, the recoverer of the dominion. Horus is described in an extant Egyptian hymn as “the son of the sun,” “the mighty, the great avenger, the observer of justice,” “the golden hawk coming for the chastisement of all lands, the divinely beneficent, the Lord Omnipotent;” which corresponds again with the descriptions of the Merodach of ancient Babylonians, who is called the Rectifier, the great Restorer. It is the biblical description, almost literally, to the promised Redeemer of the world in connection with judgment. [The above civilizations placed the pagan names of their gods on the truths held forth in this sign. Their gods are not to whom these truths belong].
The variation as to the sex of the other figure, which is sometimes contemplated as a woman and sometimes as a masculine hero, corresponds also with the biblical representations of the Church. God calls Israel His son, and also, His spouse, the wife of which He is the Husband, the one chosen out from among the maidens and wedded to himself. The bride of the Lamb in the Apocalypse is at the same time described as “a man-child,” who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and to that end was “caught up unto God and His throne…”
Comet Utsunomiya-Jones (C/2000 W1) stayed outside naked eye visibility when it reached its brightest magnitude in mid to late December 2000. The comet was well within binocular visibility, though I could not spot it due to cloud cover. Charts 185 and 186 show the path of the comet from December 27, 2000 to March 12, 2001. See the November/December 2000 issue of Biblical Astronomy for further information on this comet.
The following is a news release from the Comet Observation Home Page dated December 20, 2000.
“New Bright (?) Comet, but you have to wait a year – IAUC 7546 (December 20, 2000) and MPEC 2000-Y20 (December 20, 2000) announced the discovery of C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR) that has the potential to reach naked-eye brightness a year from now. At the present time, the comet is over 5 AU (465 million miles) from both the Sun and Earth and is ~17.5 magnitude. The comet is likely to be picked up visually in July or August 2001 when it will be well-placed for Northern Hemisphere observers in the morning sky. The comet will brighten rapidly and race south. It is predicted to be about 4th or 5th magnitude when it is best seen by Northern Hemisphere observers in December 2001. The comet will continue south and will reach peak brightness (~4th magnitude) in mid-January 2002, when it is at ~ -54 or so degrees declination and primarily a Southern Hemisphere object. The comet will then move northward giving both Northern and Southern Hemisphere observers the chance to watch it fade.
The comet’s perihelion date is 2002 Jan. 22.8 at a distance of 0.55 AU.
The brightness predictions for this comet are extremely rough. The comet could be naked-eye brightness or it could fizzle and not be a significant object. At the present time the comet is not expected to be spectacular. One would have to be well away from the city and know exactly where to look to spot it. As we get more information on the comet over the next six months, we will update the situation.”
Comet C/2000 WM1 (not to be confused with Comet C/2000 W1) will pass through Perseus starting in early November and will pass through the center of Rosh Satan (the head of Satan) from November 17-19. The comet should be seen at its brightest in the Northern Hemisphere between December 6 and 8.
Charts 187 and 188 show the comet as seen above the southwest horizon from Jerusalem on the evening of December 6, 2000. My computer projection shows the comet’s magnitude at that time at 4.51 (within naked eye visibility). The comet at that time will be in conjunction with the star Deneb Kaitos, overthrown, or thrust down, in the tail of the constellation Cetus (the beast from the sea). The comet will then start to dim as it heads south toward the Lake of Fire region. It will again brighten to about a magnitude 4.5 as it rounds the sun and heads back north through the constellation Pavo. It will reappear in the Northern Hemisphere in the constellation Sagittarius in late February and early March of 2002. The comet has a similar trajectory to that of Comet Hale-Bopp moving from Pavo to Sagittarius. The comet’s period is about 1,480 years.