Biblical Astronomy

May 2012


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 New Moon Report for the month of April 2012 and the beginning of the Second Month on the Biblical Calendar. 


“On Sunday April 22, 2012 the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted: from Jerusalem by Nehemia Gordon at 7:24pm and shortly thereafter by Willie Ondricek, David Cachicas, Rick Busenbark, and Yoel Halevi; from Ariel by Charlotte Mecklenburg at 7:35pm; from Matzliach by Neria Haroeh at 7:38pm; from elsewhere in Jerusalem by Shiloh and Hinanit David at 7:40pm.

My photos of this month's new moon from Jerusalem are posted at:”


The next New Moon is expected to be visible from Jerusalem, Israel near sunset on May 22, 2012 when the moon will be 2.42% illuminated and 14.130 above the horizon at five minutes past sunset.



Every year on or around May 5, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks.  This is usually one of the year’s best meteor showers.  However, this year it will be battling the light of the full moon.  And this is no ordinary full moon, but the moon is at its brightest and largest in a rare event called the Supermoon.  The Supermoon occurs on Saturday evening, May 5, but it will also be brighter in the late evening and early morning hours of May 4/5.  This light will block out many of the meteors.  The moon will reach its closest approach to the earth at 11:34 p.m. EDT on May 5 and it will reach full moon at 11:35 p.m. EDT.   These two factors combined create the Supermoon.  The moon will be about 16% brighter than average and will appear about 8% larger than normal at that time or around 11:35 p.m. EDT on May 5.   It will be somewhat difficult for the casual observer to notice the difference.   See the article on the Supermoon following this article.


The simulation below shows the radiant of the Eta Aquarid Meteor shower in the constellation Aquarius.  The radiant is in the urn of the constellation.  See the May 2011 issue of Biblical Astronomy for further information on the constellation Aquarius and meteor shower with a chart showing the radiant in the urn.





The Supermoon came and went on Saturday evening May 5.  I was ill in bed and sleeping and missed it. The moon was in the constellation Libra at the time.  It was most likely nothing really special.  I notified all of the subscribers for whom I have a working e-mail address for on Friday evening or Saturday morning.  There are about 10 subscribers out of 195 whom I do not have a working e-mail address for.  If you did not receive the e-mail, then you are one of those subscribers.


The article below is from a Sky & Telescope news bulletin that I received on Friday May 4.


"Supermoon?" Media Agog over Celestial Wimpout

Saturday's full Moon will be the year's closest — but not by enough to draw attention.


"The superstitious among us should beware of extra-big werewolves this weekend," warns Time magazine. For some reason, the world's news media are all aflutter over Saturday night's full Moon.


May is the month this year when full Moon occurs closest to perigee, the point where the Moon is closest to Earth in its monthly orbit. But the Moon will be only 8% closer and larger than average. That's not enough to notice unless you're a very careful moonwatcher. Or use measuring tools.


And, this full Moon will shine only 0.16 magnitude brighter than average. That's only slightly more of a brightness difference than a skilled variable-star observer can just detect.


The moon on May 5 appears 8% larger than normal


You can see the difference in a side-by-side comparison like the one above. But looking at the Moon by itself? Not likely.  If this is a "Supermoon," I guess Superman can only bench-press 108 pounds if I can bench-press 100.


If you want to compare Saturday's lunar apparition to the Moon at its very farthest, you can double those numbers. They're still not a lot.


Do go out and take a careful look. But beware of the power of suggestion. As my S&T colleague Tony Flanders just popped his head in to say, "You know some people are going to swear the Moon is just incredibly huge. If you'd told them the Moon was biggest when it was actually the smallest of the year, they'd probably say the same thing."





There will be an annular eclipse of the sun in the early evening of May 20, 2012.  This eclipse will be visible from parts of the western United States.  It will not be visible from Israel.


Charts 584 and 585 show the areas where the eclipse will be visible from.   The chart below shows the times for selected cities in the United States when the eclipse will be visible in the evening sky.


Circumstances for May 20th's Annular Solar Eclipse


Annular eclipse begins

Annular eclipse ends


Sun's altitude

Medford, OR



2m 46s


Eureka, CA



3m 59s


Redding, CA



4m 35s


Reno, NV



4m 26s


Grand Canyon, AZ



3m 17s


St. George, UT



4m 13s


Albuquerque, NM



4m 26s

Lubbock, TX



4m 13s



Chart 584 – The path of May’s annular eclipse stretches from China to the western United States. Red lines show the maximum percent of the Sun’s diameter covered, and black lines show when this occurs, for locations where a partial eclipse is visible.



Chart 585 – May's path of annularity extends from the coastline at the California-Oregon border to northwestern Texas. Shaded ovals give “snapshot” representations of the Moon’s antumbral shadow at approximately 5-minute intervals.


Chart 586 shows the moon and the sun in the constellation Taurus during the peak of the eclipse as seen from Redding, California.   The planets Zedek (Jupiter) and Catab (Mercury) are below the sun and the moon in Taurus.  The planet Nogah (Venus) is high above and between the upper part of the two horns of the reem.


Chart 586 – The sun and moon in Taurus during the peak of the eclipse as seen from Redding, CA on May 20.


The main theme of the Sign and constellation Taurus (Shur) is Messiah, the coming Judge of all the earth.  This represents Yahshuah (Jesus) coming in judgment against his enemies.  The reem as an eye (the red star Aldebaran) like the flame of fire, hair as white as snow, and seven stars in its shoulder representing the seven angels of the seven assemblies.  This is all out of Revelation chapter 1, though there the seven stars are in the Messiah’s right hand. 


See the November 2009 issue of Biblical Astronomy for more information on Taurus.





On May 22, 2012 there is an interesting alignment of the first crescent New Moon, Nogah (Venus) and bAuriga or the star El Nath.  The chart below shows the three celestial bodies as seen from the eastern United States at 30 minutes after sunset on the evening of May 22.



Venus and El Nath (the star just to the upper right of Venus) are in conjunction, with the moon in near conjunction.  The moon reaches conjunction with the planet and the star earlier that day.  That would better be seen from Western Europe and perhaps even Israel.  But the alignment as seen above is still close, though not perfect.


What is interesting about this alignment is the star El Nath in Auriga is in the foot of the Shepherd that is getting pierced by the horn of the reem.  The picture of this constellation is on the right side of this page.  The reem represents the wrath of Yahweh or Yahshuah being poured forth  on their enemies.   The reem is rushing forward and pushing with great force.


This picture portrays Jesus (Yahshuah) taking the wrath that was meant for us, who were at one time alienated against him and in our sins, upon himself.   He took that wrath upon himself for all who chose, and choose, and will choose, up to certain date in the near future, to believe in his name and make him their Lord, and also believe that Yahweh raised him out from among the dead, thus by confessing and believing are born in his spirit.  The wrath that was meant for us, he took upon himself.  We are no longer appointed to wrath in the day of his judgment.  Those who are born of him, now are sons of Elohim.


The picture below shows the Great Shepherd holding his flock including the young ones in his bosom protecting them from the reem who is thrusting forward in its wrath.      You can see the star El Nath in the foot of Auriga where the horn of the reem is piercing.  



In this celestial alignment on the evening of May 22 there is the first crescent New Moon, Nogah (Venus) the bright and morning star, and the star El Nath, which means wounded or slain.


At the very least, this sign should serve as a memorial to us of what Messiah has accomplished for us with great sacrifice.  We are now seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father along with Messiah instead of rotting in the depths of hell.


Five days after this celestial event, on May 27, is Shavuot or Pentecost.  It is a fitting time to be thankful for what happened on that day ten days after Messiah ascended into the heavens to be seated at the right hand of the Father.  He poured forth holy spirit upon and within all those who believed.  At least five thousand were saved and born from above that day, and many millions have received and have been born from above since that day.  Praise Yahweh and His son Yahshuah!!!!!



LEO (The Lion)


Messiah’s consummated triumph


Main constellation of the Sign Leo.


Ancient Names for this constellation


Arieh (Heb.) – the lion rending.


Al Asad (Arab.) – the lion, who rends, who wasteth.


Aryo (Syriac) – the lion, who rends.


Both the Arabic name Al Asad and the Syriac name Aryo seen above mean a lion coming vehemently, leaping forth as a flame!


Pi Mentekeon (Coptic) – the plucking asunder.


Leon (Gr.) – the lion.


Leo (Lat.) – the lion.

Complementing Scriptures to this constellation picture


Genesis 49:8, 9 (NIV) –“ Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.  You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son.  Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness – who dares to rouse him?”  


Numbers 24:8, 9 (RV) “He shall eat up the nations his enemies, And shall break their bones, And pierce them through with his arrows, He couched, he lay down as a lion, And as a great lion; who shall stir him up?”


Also see Amos 3:4, 8; Isaiah 42:13 (KJV); and Revelation 5:5


Stars in Leo and the meanings of their names


Regulus (Heb.) – treading under foot.  Moderns call it Cor Leonis, the heart of the lion.


Denebola (Heb.) – the judge or Lord who cometh quickly.


Al Giebha (Arab.) – the exaltation.


Zosma (Heb.) – shining forth.


Sarcam (Heb.) – the joining.  Indicating the point where the two ends of the Zodiac have their joining.



The following are excerpts from E.W. Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars, pp. 162 – 166 concerning this Lion.


“Here we come to the end of the circle. We began with VIRGO, and we end with LEO. No one who has followed our interpretation can doubt that we have here the solving of the Riddle of the Sphinx. For its Head is VIRGO and its Tail is LEO!                                                                                                                                                                

In LEO we reach the end of the Revelation as inspired in the Word of God; and it is the end as written in the heavens.                                                                                                                                                                                    

BAILLY (Astronomy) says, "the Zodiac must have been first divided when the sun at the summer solstice was in 1o Virgo, where the woman's head joins the Lion's tail…"                                                                                                          


…There is no confusion with this sign. In the ancient Zodiacs of Egypt (Denderah, Esneh) and India we find the Lion.  The same occurs on the Mithraic monuments, where Leo is passant, as he is in Moor's Hindu, and Sir William Jones's Oriental Zodiacs. In Kircher's Zodiacs he is courrant (running); in the Egyptian Zodiacs he is couchant (lying down).                                                                                                                                                                                                


In the Denderah Zodiac he is treading upon a serpent, as shown in Mr Edward Cooper's Egyptian Scenery.             


Its Egyptian name is Pi Mentekeon, which means the pouring out. This is no pouring out or inundation of the Nile, but it is the pouring out of the cup of Divine wrath on that Old Serpent.                                                                          


This is the one great truth of the closing chapter of this last Book. It is THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH AROUSED FOR THE RENDING OF THE PREY.


His feet are over the head of Hydra, the great Serpent, and just about to descend upon it and crush it.…


… What can be more expressive? What can be more eloquent? All is harmony, and all the names unite in pointing us to what is written of "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah."                                                                                                    


And why is Messiah thus called? Because it is applied to Him in Revelation 5:5 in connection with His rising up for judgment: and because the Lion is known to have been always borne upon the standard of Judah, whether in the wilderness (Num 2) or in aftertimes…


… And this is what is meant and included when the Elder says for John's comfort, "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah hath prevailed," and hence, is " receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Rev 5).                                                                                                                                                                   

Whether we look, therefore, at the primeval Revelation in the heavens, or at the later Revelation in the Word, the story is one and the same.  And what we see of Leo and his work in both, we find developed and described in the three constellations of the Sign.”