Biblical Astronomy

May 2006


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 April 28, 2006.


New Moon Not Sighted Despite Expectations


“On Friday April 28, 2006 the moon was not sighted from Israel.  Observers from Jerusalem, Northern Judea and Galilee reported that it was raining and cloudy, preventing any possibility of seeing the moon.  We are expecting further reports from the Negev and coastal region tomorrow night (some observers do not use phones on the Sabbath).  Visibility would have been probable (but not certain) had there been clear skies.  I should point out that it has been raining on and off over the last week across Israel, something which is extremely rare this time of the year.  We are well past the sudden ran during harvest described in I Samuel 12:17.  This much rain this late in the season is truly an anomally.”


Roy Hoffman from Jerusalem Israel compiled the following New Moon report on April 29, 2006 for the beginning of the Second Month on the Biblical Calendar.


“The New Moon was not seen on Friday 28th April 2006 from Israel. Clouds and rain were reported from Beer Sheva, Kibbutz Saad, Kiryat Arba, Jerusalem and the Galilee. Were it not for the clouds, it is most likely but not certain that the Moon would have been seen. On Saturday 29th April 2006, the Moon was seen clearly from around Israel starting at 19:40 (UTC+3) from Kibbutz Saad. Thank you to everyone that participated in the observations. We did not see the Moon tilting left this month so the next opportunity is 20th March 2007. 


Next month's New Moon will be clearly visible on Sunday 28th May from Israel and elsewhere in the World. The Moon may be visible a day earlier in the USA.”




On May 4/5, 2006 Zedek (Jupiter) will reach opposition and will be at its brightest for the year at magnitude –2.5 as it reaches its closest approach to the earth for the year.  Below is a simulation of Zedek in the evening sky at 10 pm for early May.  Zedek is in the constellation Libra near the star Zubenelgenubi in early May and during its opposition. 



Zuben al Genubi means the price which is deficient and is in the side of the scale of Libra that represents that, but is balanced by the other scale with the star Zuben al Chemali, The Price Which Covers.  It was Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who paid The Price Which Covers and he is the High Priest forevermore after the order of Melchizedek.  Here Zedek is seen at its brightest for the year, far outshining the star Zeben al Genubi, for He paid THE PRICE WHICH COVERS!!!



On May 12-14, 2006 Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann (73P) will pass closer to the earth than any other comet has in almost 80 years.  The comet broke into three fragments in 1995 and the closest fragment on the upcoming flyby will be about six million miles from the earth. 


There are many rumors and government conspiracy theories going around about this comet and some are saying that one of the fragments will strike the earth on May 14.  Seems like we get at least one good tabloid special every spring.  One year it was Planet X, last year Mars was to be seen larger than the full moon from Earth, another year misinformation of another comet striking the earth, and another year a comet was to strike Mars.  At some point in time such an object will most likely hit Earth, but it will not be by this comet at this time.


However, the path of this comet through the constellations between May 5 and May 25, 2006 is of some interest to say the least.  None of  the comet fragments are expected to brighten to more than a third or fourth magnitude, which for a comet is visible to the naked eye under pristine conditions in very dark skies to the experienced observer.   However, there is a possibility that the comet could flare up to a brighter magnitude.  We will see if this happens.


Chart 413 shows the path of Comet Schwassman-Wachmann from May 5 to May 25, 2006.  The comet is in the constellation Hercules on May 5 and in the position of the first red dot.  (Each red dot following are in increments of one day.  The last dot is in Pisces and is where the comet will be on May 25).  Hercules represents Messiah, the mighty vanquisher or conqueror.  See Michele Abraham’s drawing of Hercules and more info on this constellation on the last pages of this newsletter.  The meteor shower associated with Comet 73P is the Herculid shower.


Chart 413 – Path of Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann (73P) from May 5 to May 25 2006


From Hercules, the comet passes through the constellation Lyra the harp, which represents praise prepared for the conqueror.


After Lyra, the comet passes through the constellation Cygnus the swan, which represents The Blesser surely returning, and returning swiftly.


After Cygnus, the comet passes through Pegasus the winged horse, which represents the blessings quickly coming.  It also passes by the star Markab in Pegasus which means returning from afar.


After Pegasus, the comet passes through the constellation Pisces, which represents the nation of Israel – the redeemed who are to be delivered from their enemy and blessed.


Taking the meaning of the constellations in the order that the comet passes through them we have this:


The mighty conqueror going forth. Praise prepared for the conqueror who is surely returning and returning swiftly from afar to deliver his people, and to bless them.


Here is a poem from E.W. Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars, p. 62 in the section on Hercules.


"Come, Lord and burst the captives' chains,
And set the prisoners free;
Come, cleanse this earth from all its stains,
And make it meet for Thee!

                                                                                           Oh, come and end Creation's groans--
                                                                                                      Its sighs, its tears, its blood,
                                                                                           And make this blighted world again
                                                                                                     The dwelling-place of God."


Chart 414 shows the position of the comet in the constellation Pegasus as seen from Jerusalem on May 15, 2006.


Chart 414 – Comet 73P above the eastern horizon as seen from Jerusalem at 4:30 am on May 15


The following article is from a March 24, 2006 NASA news release on Comet Schwassman-Wachmann written by Tony Phillips.


Broken Comet On Its Way - “In 1995, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 did something unexpected: it fell apart.


For no apparent reason, the comet's nucleus split into at least three "mini-comets" flying single file through space. Astronomers watched with interest, but the view was blurry even through large telescopes. The comet was a hundred and fifty million miles away.


We're about to get a much closer look. In May 2006 the fragments are going to fly past Earth closer than any comet has come in almost eighty years.


"This is a rare opportunity to watch a comet in its death throes—from very close range," says Don Yeomans, head of NASA's Near Earth Object Program at JPL.


There's no danger of a collision. "Goodness, no," says Yeomans. "The closest fragment will be about six million miles away--or twenty-five times farther than the Moon." That's close without actually being scary.


The flyby is a big deal. "The Hubble Space Telescope will be watching," says Yeomans. "Also, the giant Arecibo radar in Puerto Rico will 'ping' the fragments to determine their shape and spin."


Even backyard astronomers will be able to take pictures as the mini-comets file through the constellations Cygnus and Pegasus on May 12, 13 and 14.


Ironically, despite being so close, these comets will not be very bright. The largest fragments are expected to glow like 3rd or 4th magnitude stars, which are only dimly visible to the unaided eye.


"Remember," says Yeomans, "these are mini-comets."


They're not like the Great Comets Hayutake and Hale-Bopp of 1996 and 1997. Those could be seen with the naked eye from light-polluted cities. The fragments of 73P, on the other hand, are best viewed from the countryside—and don't forget your binoculars.


The number of fragments is constantly changing. When the breakup began in 1995 there were only three: A, B and C. Astronomers now count at least eight: big fragments B and C plus smaller fragments G, H, J, L, M and N.


"It looks as though some of the fragments are themselves forming their own sub-fragments," says Yeomans, which means the number could multiply further as 73P approaches. No knows how long the "string of pearls" will be when it finally arrives.


This is very uncertain; indeed, forecasters consider it unlikely. But an expanding cloud of dust from the 1995 break-up of the comet could brush past Earth in May 2006 producing a display of meteors.


"We believe the cloud is expanding too slowly to reach Earth only eleven years after the break-up," said astronomer Paul Wiegert at the University of Western Ontario. "but it all depends on what caused the comet to fly apart—and that we don't know.


"The most likely explanation is thermal stress, with the icy nucleus cracking like an ice cube dropped into hot soup: the comet broke apart as it approached the Sun after a long sojourn the frigid outer solar system," he explains. "If this is truly what happened, then the debris cloud should be expanding slowly, and there will be no strong meteor shower."


On the other hand, what if "the comet was shattered by a hit from a small interplanetary boulder?" A violent collision could produce faster-moving debris that would reach Earth in 2006.


Wiegert expects to see nothing, but he encourages sky watchers to be alert. It wouldn't be the first time a dying comet produced a meteor shower:


"One outstanding example is comet Biela, which was seen to split in 1846, and had completely broken apart by 1872," he says. "At least three very intense meteor showers (3000-15000 meteors per hour) were produced by this dying comet in 1872, 1885 and 1892."


Assuming a thermal breakup for 73P, Wiegert and colleagues have calculated the most likely trajectory of its dust cloud. Their results: dust should reach Earth in 2022, "producing a minor meteor shower--nothing spectacular. However," he adds, "the ongoing splitting of the comet means new meteoroids are being sent in new directions, so a future strong meteor shower from 73P remains a real possibility."


The watch begins on May 12th.


The below photo of Comet 73P was taken by Mike F. Halloway on April 27, 2006.  The dimmer fragment is in the upper right.


Mike F. Holloway image of 73P exposed on 2006 April 27





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Hercules (the Mighty One)


The mighty vanquisher


Decan constellation to the Sign Scorpio.



Ancient Names for this constellation


Hercules (Lat.) – the strong.   Al Giscale (Arab.)the strong.


Bau (Egypt.) – who cometh, or the coming one.


Engonasin (Gr.) – who kneels.



Complementing scripture to this constellation picture


Psalm 91:13 (R.V) – Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; The young lion and the dragon shalt Thou trample under foot.


Stars in Hercules and the meanings of their names


Ras al Gethi (Arab.)the head of him who bruises.


Kornephorus (Heb.)the branch, kneeling.


Marsic (Heb.)the wounding.


Ma’asyn (Heb.)the sin-offering.


Caiam (Heb.)punishing, or (Arab.) treading under foot.



In this drawing, we see the Mighty One (Y’shua Messiah) holding a club in his right hand and about to smash the three-headed serpent who is in a fig branch (not apple) held in the Mighty One’s left hand.  This fig branch represents not the tree of life, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which by Hebrew tradition, was a fig tree, not an apple tree (though both are most likely euphemisms).  The serpent in the tree is that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the great deceiver who leads the whole world astray from the deception of Adam and Eve, to the present. This is a portrayal of Messiah destroying that deceiver, the serpent and dragon and thus opening the way to the tree of life.  The Mighty One is on his right knee with his right heel lifted up as though it were wounded.  His left foot is planted over the head of the dragon as about to crush the dragon’s head.  He also has a skin of a lion, which he has slain, thrown around him.


The following commentary on the constellation Hercules is from E.W. Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars, pp. 60-62.


“We can easily see how the perversion of the truth by the Greeks came about, and how, when the true foreshadowings of this Mighty One had been lost, the many fables were invented to supply their place. The wiser sort of Greeks knew this perfectly well. ARISTOTLE (in his Metaphysics, x. 8) admits, with regard to Greek mythology, that religion and philosophy had been lost, and that much had been "added after the mythical style," while much had come down, and "may have been preserved to our times as the remains of ancient wisdom." Religion, such as it was (POLYBIUS confesses), was recognised as a "necessary means to political ends." NEANDER says that it was "the fragments of a tradition, which transmitted the knowledge of divine things possessed in the earliest times."


Ancient authorities differ as to the personality of Hercules, and they disagree as to the number, nature, and order of what are sometimes called "the twelve labours of Hercules." But there is no doubt as to the mighty foretold works which the woman's Seed should perform.


From first to last Hercules is seen engaged in destroying some malignant foe: now it is the Nemean lion; then it is the slaying of the boar of Erymanthus; again, it is the conquest of the bull of Crete; then the killing of the three-headed hydra, by whose venom Hercules afterwards died. In the belly of the sea monster he is said to have remained "three days and three nights." This was, doubtless a perversion of the type of Jonah, introduced by LYCOPHRON, who (living at the court of PTOLEMY PHILADELPHUS, under whose auspices the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek) would have known of that Divine miracle, and of its application to the Coming One. Bishop Horsley believed that the fables of the Greek mythology could be traced back to the prophecies of the Messiah, of which they were a perversion from ignorance or design. This is specially true of Hercules. In his apparently impossible tasks of overthrowing gigantic enemies and delivering captives, we can see through the shadow, and discern the pure light of the truth. We can understand how the original star-picture must have been a prophetic representation of Him who shall destroy the Old Serpent and open the way again, not to fabled "apples of gold," but to the "tree of life" itself. He it is who though suffering in the mighty conflict, and brought to His knee, going down even to "the dust of death," shall yet, in resurrection and advent glory, wield His victorious club, subdue all His enemies, and plant His foot on the Dragon's head. For of Him it is written—(See Psalm 91:13 above).”