Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Reports for the months of May and June 2007 and the beginning of the Third and Fourth Biblical Months.
May – “On Thursday May 17, 2007 the New Moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted by Magdi Shamuel at 19:51 from Ashdod. The moon was also sighted at around 19:54 by Gila Sergani and several minutes later by Isaac Sergani from Arad.”
The next New Moon, which will be the beginning of the Fifth Biblical Month (also known as the Month of Av), should be visible from Jerusalem near sunset on July 15, 2007.
This seems to be the year for an above average number of planetary occultations. One well noted occultation of Nogah (Venus) occurred on June 18, 2007. An occultation is when one celestial body passes over another, in this case the moon passed in front of or over Nogah.
This event was visible from western Asia, most of Europe, Greenland, and northern Canada. Venus was seen from Jerusalem as it emerged from behind the moon at the end of the occultation. The below photos taken of this event are from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. The link to this site and photos were sent to me via e-mail by Steve Santini.
The first photo below was taken from Jaipur, India just before Venus disappeared behind the moon. It is one of the better photos of the crescent moon and Venus that I have seen.
The next two photos below were taken from Jerusalem, Israel by Dr. Aryeh E. Shimron who says: “I was fortunate to have seen the moon eclipsing Venus early this evening above Jerusalem. I could not see Venus before it disappeared behind the moon but witnessed its reappearance just a few minutes before the sun set. I am including a few of the photographs presently and will be in touch again tomorrow with detailed explanations, if you so wish. I am a retired geologist and a, very much amateur, photographer.”
Venus emerges further from the moon as seen from Jerusalem on June 18.
Chart 439 shows the positions of the moon and Nogah (Venus) in the constellation Cancer at the time of the occultation. This is the second and last occultation of Venus in the year 2007.
Chart 439 – Occultation of Venus by the moon in the constellation Cancer on June 18, 2007
One day later, on June 19 2007, there was an occultation of Saturn. This event was visible from the middle of the Pacific Ocean around the Marshall Islands. I do not have a photo of this event but found a very nice photo of the May 22, 2007 occultation of Saturn from the Sky & Telescope website. Johannes Schedler from Wildon Austria took this awesome mosaic photo of Saturn as it emerged from behind the moon.
Chart 440 shows the positions of the moon and Saturn in the constellation Arieh (Leo) at the time of the Saturn Occultation on June 19, 2007. This is the seventh Saturn occultation for 2007 with three more yet to follow this year. Note: On September 10, 2001 there was a Saturn occultation visible from the United States the eve before the World Trade Center attacks. See the September/October 2001 and November 2001 issues of Biblical Astronomy. This does not necessarily mean anything but it should be noted. None of the other three remaining Saturn occultations for 2007 will be visible from Israel or the United States.
Chart 440 – Occultation of Saturn by the moon in the constellation Leo on June 19, 2007
As the earth turned and the moon moved further around the earth on June 19, 2007, it also occulted the star Regulus in the constellation Arieh (Leo). This was visible throughout most of North America and NW South America.
Occultation of Regulus by the moon on September 19, 2007
This is not a particularly rare event. This is the seventh Regulus occultation this year with six more to follow. But it is interesting to see three occultations of bright planets and a bright star within a 48-hour period. It just happens that everything is lined up just right and the moon is in the right nodal position in its path around the ecliptic so that it passes in front of Venus, Saturn and Regulus within a few days.
I am not aware of any Biblical significance to these events; however, there may be some significance to radical Muslims who view such events as signs to attack their enemies. See the November 2001 issue of Biblical Astronomy for further information on lunar occultations and radical Muslim cults.
ASTEROID VESTA SHINING BRIGHTLY
The asteroid Vesta reached opposition on May 30, 2007 and was brighter than it has been since 1989 when it reached a peak magnitude of 5.3. Its peak magnitude this time around was 5.4, which still brought it into naked eye visibility. The following article is from Astronomy Newsletter published on May 25, 2007.
“You can normally count the number of Sun-orbiting objects visible without optical aid on the fingers of one hand. But in late May and early June, you'll need to have both hands available. For about a month, the asteroid Vesta is visible from under a dark sky.
"It's pretty cool to see unusual objects without a telescope," Astronomy Contributing Editor Alister Ling writes in the magazine's May 2007 issue, "whether it's a galaxy, a variable star, or a normally telescopic planet like Uranus.
"This month, you can add an asteroid to this list."
Vesta is the brightest of the few hundred thousand asteroids known to orbit the Sun. It's normally bright for two reasons. First, it is relatively big, with a diameter of approximately 300 miles. Second, its surface reflects nearly one-third of the sunlight that hits it - a far higher percentage than most asteroids.
Vesta appears particularly bright now because it lies closer to Earth than normal. On May 30, it lies opposite the Sun in our sky and closest to Earth, and glows at its brightest for the year. Such "oppositions" occur every 17 months, on average. But this year, Vesta's elliptical orbit brings it closest to the Sun less than 3 weeks after opposition. This coincidence makes Vesta brighter than it's been so far this century, and it won't be beaten until 2018.
Vesta's brightness makes it easier to find this year, but so does its position. Brilliant Jupiter - the brightest point of light in the sky after Venus sets before midnight - lies just 10° southeast (to the lower left) of Vesta. Your closed fist at arm's length measures roughly 10°. And Antares, the brightest orange-colored star in the south around midnight, lies 12° due south of Vesta.
In general, to find Vesta, face the southern horizon around midnight and look about halfway from the horizon to directly overhead.
If you live in the city or suburbs, you'll probably need binoculars to see the asteroid. But head to a dark site, and Vesta's glow will tickle your retina. You can confirm a sighting by drawing or remembering the pattern of stars that surrounds Vesta's position. Return to the same region a night or two later, and the object that moved will be Vesta.”
Chart 441 shows the position of Vesta in the heal of Ophiuchus, which is a decan constellation to the Sign Scorpio, at the time of its opposition (closest approach to the earth) when it was shining at its brightest. Actually, this is a poor picture of Ophiuchus. The foot actually should extend down to the scorpions head. The line of stars below the foot in the picture, represents where the leg of Ophiuchus should extend. They are the stars with the Greek nomenclature with Oph next to them. Vesta is in a line with these starts.
Chart 441 – Vesta at opposition in the Sign Scorpio on May 30, 2007
It is not known if ancient astronomers knew of Vesta. It would be very difficult to see or pick out with the naked eye at such low brightness. Though it would not be impossible. If they did see it, they would have considered it a “new star.”
This would make two new stars in the sign Scorpio within 3.5 months. Something to consider. Is this another sign of impending war between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s seed? See all issues Biblical Astronomy from December through now for what seems to be a buildup of heavenly events pointing to this possibility.
The planet Zedek (Jupiter) reached opposition (closest approach to the earth) and shined at its brightest for the year on June 5, 2007. The chart below shows the position of Zedek in the sign Scorpio at the time of opposition. Jupiter reached a magnitude of –2.6 at this year’s opposition.
The planets Nogah (Venus) and Saturn will come into conjunction on July 1, 2007 as seen from Jerusalem. The planets will be 0.7 degrees apart at their closest approach.
Chart 442 shows the positions of Venus and Saturn in the constellation and sign Arieh (Leo) at the time of conjunction as seen from Jerusalem.
Chart 442 – Venus and Saturn conjunction in Leo as seen from Jerusalem on July 1, 2007
NOGAH AT ITS BRIGHTEST
On July 12, 2007 Nogah (Venus) will be shining at its greatest brilliancy at magnitude –4.47. It is now shining brightly in the early evening sky (early evening sky is soon after sunset to about two hours after sunset). Venus can be seen above the west-northwest horizon. The star a little ways above Venus is the planet Saturn, though it is much dimmer than Venus. You can watch these two planets get closer every night until they reach conjunction on July 1st and 2nd, depending on your location.
The chart below shows the position of Nogah, the bright and morning star, in Arieh, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah at the time of its greatest brilliancy. See Revelation 22:16.
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Michele Abraham is now on the road with Michael Rood for his American tour. We hope to get back to the restoration of the constellations soon and start painting and printing the new pictures in the Biblical Astronomy newsletter by August or September.
YAHWEH RICHLY BLESS YOU IN ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS THROUGH HIS SON Y’SHUA!