Biblical Astronomy

March/April 2007


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

Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail – <> Website –





Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following Aviv Barley Report on Sunday March 18, 2007.


Aviv Found!


On Sunday 18 March 2007 the Aviv barley was found in Israel. 


*Small fields of Aviv were found near Ein Mabua in Wadi Qelt about 16 km from Jerusalem.  In two random samplings from Ein Mabua 70% and 90% of the barley were Aviv.


*A Small plot of Aviv barley was found near Na’omi Junction; some of the stalks were riper than Aviv.


*Many fields of Aviv barley were found in the central Jordan Valley several kilometers north of Marj a-Naga; the fields of Aviv stretched for several kilometers.  In two random samplings from north of Marj a-Naga 80% and 100% of the barley was Aviv or riper than Aviv.


Based on Leviticus 23:10 the barley must be “ancient harvest ripe” two weeks into the lunar month in order to declare that month as the Month of Aviv.  There is no doubt that the barley will be ready for harvest two weeks into the upcoming month (New Moon expected to be seen from Jerusalem on Tuesday 20 March 2007 at sunset).  In fact, much of the barley in the Jordan Valley was already “ancient-harvest ripe.”


For more details about the Aviv barley and its relation to the beginning of the Biblical New Year, please see:


The Aviv Searchers will carry out a further examination of the barley in the northern Negev on Monday 19 March 2007.  However, based on the large quantities of Aviv found near Ein Mabua and in the Jordan Valley we can already declare the upcoming new moon the New Moon of the Aviv.  Therefore, the Feast of Unleavened Bread will be in early April.


The photo below is Aviv barley found at Ein Mabua in Wadi Qelt on March 18, 2007.






Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Report for the Month of March 2007 and the beginning of the First Month on the Biblical Calendar and the Biblical New Year.


New Moon of the Aviv Sighted!


On Tuesday March 20, 2007 the New Moon of the Aviv was sighted from Jerusalem.  The moon was first sighted at 17:55 by Henry Hodgens and shortly thereafter by 15 other observers from the same location.  The moon remained visible for an extended period of time.


The moon was not visible from Israel on Monday March 19, 2007.  With 0.49% illumination and 34 minutes lagtime, visibility was impossible even under ideal weather conditions.


Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) will begin April 3, 2007 at sunset and last for seven days until April 10, 2007 at sunset.

Shanah Tovah!  Happy New Year!

The New Moon of the Aviv was in the constellation Pisces as seen in the illustration below that shows the position of the new moon in the heavens as seen from Jerusalem at 5:55 pm JST.  The constellation Pisces represents the nation of Israel and the Two Houses of Israel.  Venus (Nogah) the Bright and Morning Star (though here seen in the evening sky) is above the moon in the constellation Aries.


5:55 pm JST as seen from Jerusalem on March 20


The illustration below shows the position of the new moon as seen from Portland, Oregon on March 20, 2007.  The moon is closer to Venus.


7:30 pm PDST as seen from Portland, Oregon on March 20


The next new moon is expected to be visible from Jerusalem near sunset on April 18, 2007.


Dates for the Spring Feasts


Passover - from near sunset on April 3, to the early morning of April 4.


Unleavened Bread – First day of Unleavened Bread is sunset April 3, to sunset April 4.  Seventh day of Unleavened Bread is from sunset April 9, to sunset April 10.


Pentecost (Shavuot) – Sunset May 26 to Sunset May 27.




The total lunar eclipse on March 3/4, 2007 put on a spectacular show for those in the Israel and other parts of the Mid East, Northern Africa, Europe and eastern to mid-western United States.


As seen from Israel, the moon had a reddish tinge at the peak of the eclipse.  It was a darker red as seen from mid and southern Europe, and was a very dark red as seen from the Scandinavian countries according to the photos that I looked at.  The farther north in latitude the photos were taken, the redder the moon.


There was a problem with overcast in Europe and the United States, but in such areas the moon was spotted through cloud separations.


The photo below is a composite photo of the eclipse taken by Laurent Laveder from Quimper, Bretagne, France on March 3/4, 2007.  The lunar eclipse phase in the center was at the peak of the eclipse.



Below are the projected dates (in raw data form) for the first days of the months for Biblical calendar for the coming year.  The dates are near sunset when the moon is expected to be visible from Jerusalem.  I have the percent of illumination of the moon to the closest whole number, and the degrees above the horizon also to the closest whole number (not broken down to fractions).  These calculations are for the moon at 5 minutes after sunset.   The dates are from sunset of the first date on the left of the slash to sunset of the second date to the right of the slash.  Where there are borderline situations I have also listed a secondary possible date.




First Month -        March 20/21            3% illuminated, 20 degrees above the horizon.


Second Month -    April 18/19              2% ill., 15 deg. ah


Third Month -       May 17/18              1% ill., 11 deg. ah       (possibly May 18/19)


Fourth Month -     June 16/17              3% ill., 17 deg. ah


Fifth Month -        July 15/16               2% ill., 10 deg. ah


Sixth Month -        August 14/15          3% ill., 9 deg. ah


Seventh Month -  September 13/14    4% ill., 8 deg. ah


Eighth Month -     October 13/14        5% ill., 8deg. ah          (possibly October 12/13)


Ninth Month -      November 12/13    6% ill., 12 deg. ah       (possibly November 11/12)


Tenth Month -      December 11/12     3% ill., 11 deg. ah




Eleventh Month – January 10/11         4% ill., 19 deg. ah       (possibly January 9/10)


Twelfth Month -   February 8/9           2% ill., 15 deg. ah


Most likely a 13th month will not be added depending on the agricultural conditions for the year. 


Thirteenth Month or First Month of the new Biblical Year – March 8/9 or possibly March 9/10.  This is a somewhat borderline situation for both  the aviv barley and the new moon.


For those who like to plan ahead for the holidays, the projected dates for the upcoming Fall Feasts are:


Day of Trumpets or Shouting (Yom Teruah or Yom Zicron) – September 13/14.

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) – September 22/23.

First Day of Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – September 27/28.

Last Great Day (Shemini Atzeret) – October 4/5.


Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights (Hanukkah) – will most likely start at sunset on December 6 and end at sunset on December 14, 2007.





Nova Scorpii 2007, the first nova discovered in Scorpio in February, reached a peak brightness magnitude 3.8 on February 16.  As of February 27, it was down to about magnitude 5.4 and by March 1, it was about 6.0.  Then it started to quickly fade and dropped to 10th magnitude on March 6. 


The second nova discovered in Scorpio, Nova Scorpii 2007 #2, did not brighten to naked eye visibility and as of March 7 it was down to magnitude 11.  It is most likely much further away than the first nova.  Its spectrum shows sharp absorption lines due to interstellar gas, a sign that its light is probably dimmed a great deal by intervening interstellar gas and dust.


This was an interesting event nonetheless.  The first nova was well with naked eye range and that is a very rare event in itself, though it did not last long and faded as rapidly as it flared up.





Comet McNaught put on an awesome show for both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere of planet Earth before it faded to beyond naked eye viewing in late February/early March.  On March 12 the comet was down to magnitude 6.5 and fading.


The orbital period for Comet McNaught is still uncertain but it may be as much as 1 million years.  This was its first pass of Earth from the time of the creation of Adam.


There is another new comet on the way and will peak in April.  Will this be another surprise comet?





            What a name – The first two fruits of the Spirit!


The following is an AstroAlert released from Sky & Telescope on March 17, 2007.


New Comet in Indus


Terry Lovejoy of Thornlands, Queensland, Australia, has discovered a 9th-magnitude comet in the southern constellation Indus. In reporting the find to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), Lovejoy described the comet as having a green, 4' coma with a slight extension to the southwest. Its position on March 15.73 Universal Time was right ascension 20h 44.1m, declination -51° 14' (equinox 2000.0), and it appears to be moving 0.55° per day north-northwestward, toward Alpha Indi.


Within 24 hours the discovery was confirmed by John Drummond of Gisborne, New Zealand, and the new comet (designated C/2007 E2 but not yet officially named) was announced on IAU Circular 8819.


Lovejoy's find opens a new chapter in the long and glorious history of comet hunting. It appears to be the first case of a comet discovered in a systematic survey with an off-the-shelf digital camera: a Canon 350D with a zoom lens set to 200-mm focal length at f/2.8. Lovejoy spotted the object near the frame edge in 16 exposures of 90 seconds each. He prepared the cropped composite here from eight of these frames. North is toward left, and the field about 0.8° wide.



Orbit Not Yet Known


As of this posting, the comet's orbit is still unknown. Observers with the necessary experience are urged to make astrometric observations that will help in determining its orbit. For information about this kind of work, and where to submit measurements, see these guidelines prepared by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Please check the online version of this AstroAlert on Sky & Telescope's website for possible minor updates:


The orbit of Comet Lovejoy is now known and I integrated its orbital elements into my StarryNight programs. 


Chart 433 shows the path of Comet Lovejoy from April 3 to May 2, 2007.  The comet is now headed north to the constellation Sagittarius.  That is the same constellation that Comet McNaught passed through as it headed south in late January (see Chart 428 in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Biblical Astronomy).  Actually, the two paths are very close to and parallel to each other with the one comet heading south as it exited the northern hemisphere and the other heading north as it enters the northern hemisphere.


Chart 433 – Path of Comet Lovejoy from April 3 to May 2, 2007


From Sagittarius, the comet passes through Aquila, then between Lyra and Hercules, and onward through Hercules and Draco.  Sagittarius represents the conqueror going forth to conquer the king’s enemies.  Aquila the eagle represents the smitten one (Messiah) smitten and falling at the time of the crucifixion.  This same one who was smitten was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father.  This same one is coming back to conquer his enemies.  Lyra, the harp includes an eagle that represents this same eagle exalted and ascending into the heavens.  This constellation also represents praise prepared for the conqueror.  Lyra is a decan constellation to the Sign Sagittarius.  Hercules is a decan constellation to the Sign Scorpio.  Scorpio’s other decan constellation Ophiuchus is seen in conflict with the serpent.  Hercules represents this same person and is seen trampling on the head of Draco, the dragon, the dragon being hurled headlong into the earth.


These are continuing signs of Messiah Y’shua (Jesus Christ) making war against his enemies.


The StarryNight Pro program that I use shows the peak brightness of Comet Lovejoy at magnitude 7.44 as it reaches its closest approach to the earth at about 41 million miles on April 22/23, 2007.  However, there is the possibility that it could become significantly brighter.  We will just have to wait and see.


Chart 434 shows the position of Comet Lovejoy in the wing of Aquila on April 22, 2007 when the comet will be at its brightest, and will be as bright through April 23.  The position of the comet on April 23 is near to this same position.


Chart 434 – Comet Lovejoy in Aquila on April 22, 2007


From midnight to noon on May 7, 2007, the comet will pass from the heel of Hercules to the head of the Draco, the dragon.  This event is show in the chart below.


Path of Comet Lovejoy from midnight to noon on May 7, 2007


It was this same date, May 7, in 2002 that Comet Ikeya-Zhang was between the heel of Hercules and the head of the dragon.  The chart below shows that event..


Position of Comet Ikeya-Zhang on May 7, 2002


The reason the two pictures are not seen in the same orientation is because they are from different times of the day – Comet Lovejoy at noon and Ikeya-Zhang after sunset.  The constellations turn in the sky throughout the day and night.


That the two comets were in this position on May 7, five years apart is a very interesting fact.





Below are two articles from Sky & Telescope concerning the upcoming Lyrid Meteor Shower.


April: The Lyrids                                          


 “What would spring be without an April shower? The Lyrid meteor shower comes to maximum during the predawn hours of the 23rd. The waxing 6-day-old crescent Moon will be a distraction until it sets soon after 2 a.m., when the Lyrid radiant (near the Hercules-Lyra border, a few degrees southwest of Vega) will be about halfway up the eastern sky. Although the meteor count should increase as the radiant rises, expect only modest activity. Even under a relatively dark sky, an attentive observer can expect a dozen or so Lyrids per hour.”


April's Lyrid Meteor Shower

by Roger W. Sinnott


“The Lyrid meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,000 years; Chinese records say "stars fell like rain" during the shower of 687 BC. But in recent times the Lyrids have generally been weak. They have a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day, and even then only 10 to 20 Lyrids per hour may appear.


But there have been some remarkable exceptions. In 1982 the rate unexpectedly reached 90 for a single hour, and 180 to 300 for a few minutes. A brief outburst of 100 per hour was also seen in 1922. And on April 20, 1803, residents of Richmond, Virginia, upon being rousted out of bed by a fire bell, were startled to see great numbers of meteors in all parts of the sky. "This unpredictability always makes the Lyrids a shower to watch, since we cannot say when the next unusual return may occur," note Alistair McBeath and Rainer Arlt of the International Meteor Organization.


Use our interactive sky chart to see the appearance of the heavens at 2:00 a.m., during the peak morning of the Lyrids. The radiant point of this shower lies between the bright summer star Vega and the keystone pattern of the constellation Hercules. The chart is set at 40° north latitude for central North America. Click on the "change" button to alter either the date and time or viewing location displayed by the chart. Generally, there will be more meteors than usual visible for a few days on either side of the peak of a meteor shower.”


Chart 435 shows the position of the radiant (where the meteors appear to come from) of the Lyrid Meteor Shower between the constellations Lyra (praise prepared for the conqueror) and Hercules the conqueror.  These charts are from an updated version of StarryNight Pro and have some to be desired.  However, this is the only version that shows the radiant of meteor showers.  The picture of Aquila is a bit off as far as its position.  Both versions have Aquila carrying a man, which is also incorrect.  At any rate, the peak of this meteor shower is on April 23, the same date that Comet Lovejoy will be at its brightest.  As you can see on the chart, Comet Lovejoy is below and not far from the radiant of the meteor shower.  It is interesting that both the meteor shower and the comet will be at their peak at the same time on the same date.


Chart 435 – Radiant of the Lyrids Meteor Shower on April 23, 2007



One week later Comet Lovejoy will pass close to the radiant of the shower from April 30 to May 1, 2007 as seen on Chart 436.


Chart 436 – Path of Comet Lovejoy from April 30 to May 1, 2007





My many thanks and gratitude to those who donated funds to Biblical Astronomy this past month.  The Biblical Astronomy account was down to $100 in late February after withdrawing $400.00 for the month of March.  It costs me a minimum of $400.00 per month to pay loans for equipment and materials, Internet fees, and mailing and printing costs for the newsletter.  I received $880.00 in donations from twelve people and about another $500.00 in orders for products from others.  It has been a long dry spell over the past 4 months as far as orders go.  The Biblical Astronomy account is now at $1,480.00.  That will be enough to keep me going through June.  Plus I have been invited to do some seminars.  Thank you all very much for your words of edification, prayers and support.  It would be most difficult to keep this ministry going without you.




Woodburn, Oregon Saturday April 21, 2007 at the Living Waters House of Fellowship located at   The Woodburn Grange Hall on Hwy 214 (Newberg -Mt. Hood Highway) less than a mile East of Interstate 5 at exit 271 in Woodburn and just a little over a mile West of Hwy 99.


Shabbat services will start at 1:00 p.m. The Biblical Astronomy seminar will start at 5:00 p.m. and go into the night.  Call 503-829-6992 for more info, or go to the Living Waters website at www.LWHF.Com


Jackson Hole, Wyoming on May 11/12, 2007.  I will have more info on this in the May 2007 issue of Biblical Astronomy.  Details are still being worked out such as where it is to be held.


YAHWEH bless you with great abundance in all things pertaining to life and godliness.