Biblical Astronomy

July 1999

Editor - Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 5772, Oregon City, OR 97045-8272

Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail - <> website -



There will be a total solar eclipse seen from central Europe on August 11. This will be the last total solar eclipse for this millennium and the last one for Europe for the next 75 years. The eclipse will be visible from Jerusalem, though it will only be seen as a partial eclipse from that location. At mid-eclipse, observers in Jerusalem will se a crescent sun.

Chart 102 shows the positions of the Sun and Moon just prior to the eclipse. The line running down between the Sun and Moon is the constellation border line between the constellations Cancer and Leo. Here, the Moon is in Cancer and the Sun is in Leo. The moon will pass from Cancer to Leo during the eclipse. The Moon will begin to move into Leo as it stars to eclipse the Sun. At mid-eclipse, the moon will be entirely in Leo (Chart 103). The following is an excerpt fro Earnest L. Martin's, The Star That Astonished The World, p.13:

"The 'morning star' conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on August 12, 3 B.C. occurred when the planets were in the last degrees of the zodiacal sign Cancer which was the concluding, sign for interpreting the astrological year. Yet the 'evening star' conjunction of the same planets, in their reunion ten months later happened in the first degrees of Leo, the beginning sign of the astrological year. The zero degree line for beginning astrological calculations was between the signs of Cancer and Leo.

This means that the 'morning star' conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in August 12 3 B.C. happened at the conclusion of the astrological year, while the 'evening star' reunion some ten months later occurred in the beginning of the new astrological year. These two unions of Jupiter and Venus could well have been interpreted as showing the close of one age in history, and the beginning of another age in 2 B.C."

This is interesting in light of the moon passing from Cancer to Leo during the above mentioned eclipse. If the Lord was born on September 11, 3 B.C., and that year was the Biblical Year 4000; then the year 4001 or the beginning of the 5th millennium would have started on Rosh Hashanah in the year 2 B.C. The celestial events of that time may have been marking the end of one millennium and the beginning of another. If Rosh Hashanah 2 B.C. was the beginning of the Biblical year 4001 and the Fifth Millennium, then Rosh Hashanah in the year 1999 (sunset September 11 to sunset September 12) will be the beginning of the Biblical Year 6001 or the Seventh Millennium (remember, there is no year 0 when adding between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D.). The last sign to mark the possible transition between millenniums in 2 B.C. occurred over three months before Rosh Hashanah of that year. If this eclipse is marking the transition between the 6th and 7th millenniums, it is occurring about 41 days before Rosh Hashanah this year.

This coming Rosh Hashanah will begin the year 2002 of our Messiah. This is using Jewish inclusive reckoning.

Biblical Year 4000 - Year 1 of the Messiah
Biblical Year 4001 - Year 2 of the Messiah
Biblical Year 6001 - Year 2002 of Messiah
Biblical Year 6000 - Year 2001 of Messiah
Biblical Year 5999 - Year 2000 of Messiah
Biblical Year 5999 - Rosh Hashanah 1997-98
Biblical Year 6000 - Rosh Hashanah 1998-99
Biblical Year 6001 - Rosh Hashanah 1999-00

Another interesting fact is that when 2,000 prophetic years (720,000 days) are added from the date that the Messiah was crucified (April 28, 28 A.D.) it comes up to August 12, 1999, by which the Hebrew day begins at sunset on August 11 or 3.5 hours after the end of the eclipse. The eclipse begins a few minutes after 12 noon (Jerusalem Standard Time) and ends at 2:56 p.m. Sunset is at 6:26 p.m. Jerusalem Standard Time (not Daylight Savings Time). Another factor to consider is that the sun will be darkened from the "sixth hour to the ninth hour" (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44-46).

Charts 104 and 105 show the positions of the Sun, Moon, Venus and Mercury at 1:40 p.m. Jerusalem Standard Time on August 11, 1999. The Sun and Moon are located in the left claw of the crab and the left foot of the lion. It is actually where the claw of the crab and the foot of the lion join. Mercury is in Cancer and Venus (the Bright and Morning Star) is in Leo (Judah) and very near to conjunction with the star Regulus (the king star of Judah). Venus will be seen in direct conjunction (same celestial longitude) with Regulus a few hour after sunset on August 10 from Jerusalem.

The first crescent light of the new moon should be visible on August 12 around sunset. This will begin the first day of the Hebrew month Elul. This is also the beginning of the 40 day season of repentance to the Day of Atonement. Considering all of the factors surrounding the solar eclipse, it may not be a bad idea to use this opportunity to seek and turn to the Lord during this particular season, though we should be doing this on a daily basis. This may be the last opportunity to do so.


This is another event from an internet webpage that has caught the attention of many. Since I get many inquiries on it, I decided to address it in this newsletter. Supposedly, there is to be an astrological grand cross formed over the earth on August 11. The following is an excerpt from one of the websites that promotes this hypothesis. I find this hypothesis interesting, but have a somewhat different interpretation of it. Not to say that I am 100 percent right.

"The August 11, 1999 eclipse will occur in the constellation Leo or Lion while Mars, Saturn and Uranus will be positioned, geocentrically, in Scorpio, Taurus, and Aquarius, that is, Eagle, Ox and Man. At the moment of eclipse, Mars and Saturn, [the two thieves] will be precisely opposing one another near the zodiacal degrees anciently considered to be the Gates of Heaven and Hell."

If a line were drawn through the celestial sphere between the Sun/Moon and Uranus (not visible to the naked eye); and another line drawn between Mars and Saturn at their positions on August 11, it would indeed form a cross, though it would be slightly awkward. Though Mars and Saturn will be nearly opposed to one another during the eclipse, they will be a little over one degree from precisely opposing one another (a bit picky). The positions of the above named constellations are given from 2,000 to 2,500 years ago. Because of the precessional movement of the earth, these constellations are no longer in these positions. Chart 106 shows the positions of the planets Mars, Uranus and Saturn at the time of the eclipse on August 11. Mars is in Libra (not Scorpius), Uranus is in Capricornus (not Aquarius), and Saturn is in Aries (not Taurus).

It is interesting that Mars is in Libra (The Sacred Alter), Uranus in Capricornus (the goat of atonement slain fro the redeemed), and Jupiter and Saturn in Aries (the Lamb wounded or slain but coming back in victory) at the time of the eclipse, and they form a cross (though slightly awkward).

Using Jewish inclusive reckoning which would use April 28, 28 as day one in the counting of days from the crucifixion of the Messiah instead of adding 720,000 days to it, then August 11, 1999 would be the 720,000th day from the crucifixion, or precisely 2,000 prophetic years, with the sun being darkened from the 6th to the 9th hour and the formation of a cross between the above mentioned planets and constellations through the celestial sphere and planet Earth at the time when the sun is darkened. This is actually pretty awesome. The combination of the eclipse and the positions of the planets during the eclipse is the biggest foreseeable astronomical sign for the year 1999.


The following is from a July 16 news release by Sky and Telescope. "On July 13th, Australian amateur Daniel W. Lynn discovered an 8th magnitude comet moving rapidly northeast through the constellation Hydra. He made the find near Melbourne while observing with 10 x 50 binoculars. The comet is currently low in the western evening sky for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of July it will have moved far enough north and east of the Sun to be visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

Sky and Telescope issued an AstroAlert concerning the comet on July 14th, based on IAU Circular 7222 from the International Astronomical Union's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT). After receiving astronomic observations from four amateur astronomers in Australian and Brazil, CBAT director Brian G. Marsden was able to compute the preliminary orbit. Comet Lynn will reach perihelion (the point of its orbit nearest to the Sun) on July 23. At that time it will be 0.76 astronomical unit (70.7 million miles) from the Sun, well inside the Earth's orbit. The comet is expected to be 7th or 8th magnitude for the next few weeks, then fade as it recedes from both the Earth and the Sun."

In early July, before its discovery, the comet was in the constellation Puppis, which is the stern of the ship Argo. It proceeded from there and reached its closest approach to Earth on July 10 at a distance of 51.6 million miles; over 25 million miles closer than Comet Lee at its closest approach (see June newsletter). The comet passe through Hydra (the serpent) and will pass through the constellations Leo and Virgo in late July and early August. It will be in the constellation Come The woman and child or the desired of all nations) on August 11. The comet will not cause any hazardous effects on the Sun or the Earth.


The following is from a Sky and Telescope news release dated July 9.

New Zealand Bolide - "A meteor streaked through the sky and exploded over northern New Zealand on July 8th, prompting hundreds of calls to local authorities. The fireball appeared shortly after 4 o'clock in the afternoon New Zealand Standard Time and shone "as brightly as the Sun," according to John Field, press officer at the Carter Observatory in Wellington. The explosion produced a sonic boon and a cloud of yellowish vapor. Scientists from the One Tree Hill Observatory are using eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the bolide's trajectory. That information will help narrow the search for any fragments that might have survived the fall to Earth. According to observatory director Ian Griffin the search ha already been narrowed to a 100-kilometer-long strip that begins in Taranaki and extends out over the ocean. Although there have been numerous reports of debris falling to the ground, search parties have not yet turned up any remnants. Joel Schiff, editor of Meteorite magazine, said meteorites from the fall could be as small as a pea or as large as an apple. The day after the incident a dealer in New York offered $25,000 for rubble from the bolide. An amateur videographer captured some footage of the cloud produced after the meteor exploded. The video is available on"


The following is from a Sky and Telescope news release on June 1.

Another Y2k Problem: Solar Maximum - "The expected effects of next year's solar maximum took center stage on Monday, as researchers presented their best estimates of expected levels of solar activity and how that activity will affect us here on Earth. JoAnn Joselyn of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colorado, referred to the dangers of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as "the other Y2K problem."

Space weather, the term coined by solar researchers to describe disturbances in the solar wind generated by flares and CMEs, has been responsible for some spectacular effects. Flares have been known to release more energy than a million 100-megaton nuclear explosions in the space of a few minutes. In 1989, just such a flare knocked out power throughout the entire Canadian province of Quebec.

According to Joselyn, the Sun is in one of its most active cycles in recent years. The immediate evidence of increased solar activity will show up on Earth as increases in the frequency and intensity of auroral displays, strange effects in the ionosphere that could affect radio transmissions, phantom commands and tracking problems in satellites, and spurious electrical currents in power lines and pipelines. In addition, prolonged activity heats the Earth's atmosphere, causing it to extend farther into space. This causes drag on low-Earth-orbit satellites, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, affecting their orbits and, in some cases, shortening the life of components of those satellites. One concern is for the "constellation" of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites because they are vital to many aspects of modern navigation and timekeeping.

Given the destructive danger of solar storms, early warning systems for satellite operators and power grid companies have been in place for a number of years. Long-term prediction methods for the time of peak solar activity during a cycle are being devised as well. Richard C. Atrrock of the Air Force Research Laboratory at the National Solar Observatory at Sacramentto Peak, New Mexico, has developed a method called "The Rush to the Poles" to predict solar maximum. Over a period of years, he has charted the appearance an migration toward the solar poles of high latitude coronal emission features that appear early in each solar cycle. His observations consist of daily scans of FE XIV emission line, which is generated in the million-degree-hot solar corona. The emissions appear at the 55 degree north latitude on the Sun, and move to the poles at the rate of 9 to 13 degrees a year. After 3 or 4 years, the features disappear near the poles.

the current "Rush to the Poles" predicts that solar maximum will occur somewhere between January and April 2000 -- which agrees with other methods of predicting solar max."