Biblical Astronomy

November 1999

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

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




Saturn will reach opposition (its closest approach to the earth for the year) on November 6, at 15:58 Universal Time (1:38 p.m. Jerusalem Standard).  This will occur four days after the scheduled meeting on November 2, in Oslo between Barak, Arafat, Clinton and other world leaders concerning the progress of the Mideast peace process, and two days before the final status talks between Israel and the PLO, which are scheduled to begin on November 8. It was last year on October 23, that Saturn reached opposition at the same time that agreements for the Wye Accord were reached (see the November 1998 issue of Biblical Astronomy).  It appears that there may be some correlation here.  There are also 2,520 days from November 2, 1999 to September 25, 2006 (Rosh Hashanah), using inclusive reckoning.  If this is just a coincidence remains to be seen.





There is a very good possibility that there will be a surprise meteor shower on November 11.  This is not part of the Leonids meteor shower that will peak on November 17/18, but will be a new one.  The following is from an e-mail forwarded to me by Dr. William Zambrano on October 20.  The author is Joe Rao, who is an expert in meteor showers.


“The recently discovered Comet LINEAR (C/1999J3) may serve to give rise to a new meteor shower on November 11.


The circumstances concerning the prospective “Linearid” display on the evening of November 11th is most intriguing.  The moment when the Earth passes closest to the ascending node of C/1993J3 is at 2:41 p.m. EST/11:41 a.m. PST.  Unfortunately – daylight for North America, although well into the evening darkness over Europe.


The radiant for this prospective display is very near to the star Phecda, the lower left star in the bowl of the Big Dipper.  From my own calculations, I come up with RA of 11h 40m, Dec. +53 deg.  So even for Europeans, the radiant stands only about a mere 5-degrees above the northern horizon (at latitude 40N) at the time that the shower may reach its peak!  (My note:  It should be well visible from Israel)


Nonetheless…the separation between the Earth’s orbit and that of the parent comet is just over 0.011 a.u. (1,023,000 miles).  As to what type of activity might be expected, it should be noted that the 1985 Giacobinids briefly produced an outburst of ZHR’s of 600 to 800 from Japan, with the Earth following 21P/Giacobini-Zinner to its node by just 26.5 days.  The separation between the orbit of the comet and Earth was 0.033 – or three times the separation between the upcoming case of Earth and C/1999J3.


In 1933, when a major Giacobinid storm (ZHR = 3,000 – 29,000) occurred, these values were 80 days and 0.005 a.u.  Earth is following LINEAR to its ascending node by ~39.9 days.  Hence, the situation regarding the prospective LINEARIDS is roughly midway between the two above cases.


Among the chief differences between Giacobini-Zinner and LINEAR  is that Earth instersected comet debris on the inside of Comet G-Z’s orbit, whereas we would intersect debris on the outside of comet LINEAR.  In addition, the dust-distribution surrounding LINEAR is completely unknown.  Also, Giacobini_Zinner is a well-known short-period comet of 6.5 years and has been observed to circle the Sun on many other occasions, whereas LINEAR is a newly discovered long-period object of ~63,000 years.


Nonetheless…I would strongly urge all observers to carefully monitor the skies for possible meteors from this shower, especially during the pre-dawn hours of November 11 (when the radiant is high up in the northeast sky), as well as later that evening.  It appears that should any significant outbursts occur, those in the western and central Asia would have the best chance of viewing it (for them, in the after-midnight/pre-dawn hours of November 12 local time).


Although we know that the Earth will be closest to the comet’s ascending node at ~19.6 UT on November 11, this doesn’t mean that the actual peak of a prospective LINEAR display could not occur many hours earlier or later.  An example of this occurred one year ago with the 1998 Giacobinids: the time when Earth was predicted to cross the node of 21P/Giaconini-Zinner was 20:53 UT on October 8; but the shower actually reached its peak at 13:15 UT – more than 7.5 hours earlier.


Thus, I would strongly suggest that all interested observers should be on high-alert for a 24-hour interval on either side of  the predicted nodal crossing time of 19.6 UT/November 11.


Who knows?  It might prove to be an interesting warm-up for the Leonids, which are due to peak just a week later!”


The showers radiant is near the star Phecda or Phacda in Ursa Major.  The following are excerpts from E.W. Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars concerning the Biblical significance of the constellation and the star.


Ursa Major (the fold and the flock) – “In the book of Job (9:9 and 38:31,32) it is mentioned under the name of Ash.  ‘Canst thou guide Ash and her offspring?’ which is rendered in the A.V., ‘Arcturus and his sons,’ and in the R.V., The Bear and her train’ (marg., ‘sons’).  The Arabs still call it Al Naish,or, Annaish, the assembled together, as sheep in a fold.  The ancient Jewish commentators interpreted Ash as seven stars of this constellation.  They are called by others Septentriones, which thus became the Latin word for North.


…The star gamma is called Phaeda, or Phacda, meaning visited, guarded, or numbered, as a flock; for His sheep, like stars, are both numbered and named.  (See Psalm 147:4)


…There is not one discordant voice in the rich abundance of this testimony.  We have nothing to do here with the Grecian myths about bears or wild boars.  We see only the innumerable seed gathered  by him who scattered (Jer. 30:10).


Many are the Scriptures we might quote which speak of this gathering and assembling of the long-scattered flock.  It is written as plainly in the Book, as it is in the heavens.  The prophecies of this gathering are as conspicuous in the Word of God as the ‘seven stars’ are in the sky.  It is difficult even to make a selection from the wealth of such promises; but few are more beautiful than that in Ezek. 34:12-16…”


The Leonid meteor shower is due to peak on November 18.  The radiant for this shower is in the head of Leo (the Lion of the tribe of Judah).  Whether this will come with the intensity of a meteor storm remains to be seen, though it will most likely be no more intense than last year’s event, which was as strong shower.  The following is from the November issue the internet version of Astronomy Magazine.


“Will the Leonid Meteor shower perform as well or better than last year?  No one knows for sure, but a strong shower is expected.  If last year’s spectacular performance is anything to go by, it’s worth staying up all night to see what happens.  The shower is rich in swift meteors and fireballs – in 1998 one reached the brightness of the moon as it sped across Kansas skies.


Predicting the intensity of a meteor shower, however, is rather like predicting where snowflakes will fall in a snow shower – now one knows until it happens – so make the most of this year’s event.  The peak most likely will occur on the morning of November 18, but plan to watch for a night either side of that date.  In addition, the ancient Taurid meteor shower peaks on November 4.  Although it’s not one of the stronger showers, these two events give us good odds of seeing at least one meteor this month.





On November 15, Mercury will perform a grazing transit with the sun.  A transit is when a planet (Venus or Mercury) passes in front of the sun as seen from the earth.  Most of the time when Venus or Mercury reach inferior conjunction, they appear to pass above or below the sun.  But on rare occasion (rarer for Venus), they are seen passing in front of the sun.  On November 15, at 5:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. PST, Mercury will graze the upper limb of the sun.  Of course, this will only be visible for observers in areas where the sun is above the horizon at this time.  Since it will be Midnight in Israel during this event, it will not be visible from Jerusalem.  The below picture shows the transit at its peak at 5:00 p.m. EST.




Mercury is representative of the Archangel Gabriel.  The above picture brings to mind Revelation 19:17 – And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;


I do not believe that this particular prophetic event is occurring at this time, but it is sure to happen sometime in the future.


Mercury always transits the sun either in November or in May.  The last Mercury transit of the sun occurred on November 6, 1993.  That was also a grazing transit, but on the lower limb of the sun.  The next Mercury transit will occur on May 7, 2003.  Mercury will cross more of the sun’s surface at that time.  The below picture shows Mercury at the peak of its transit on May 2, 2003.



This one will be visible from Jerusalem.  The next Mercury transits occur on November 8, 2006; May 9, 2016; November 11, 2019; and November 13, 2032.






The following is a recent news update by Sky and Telescope on the star Eta Carinae.


“Astronomers were once again surprised by the Chandra X-ray Observatory can see as it peered into the heart of another familiar celestial object.  On September 6th, the $1.5 billion telescope was turned toward Eta Carinae, a much studied star because of its history of variable activity and because astronomers believe that it is a supermassive star on the verge of going supernova.  The most detailed X-ray image yet of Eta Carinae – taken by Chandra’s Advanced Charge-coupled Device Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) – was released today and reveals an unimaginably hot (60 million degree Kelvin) central source surrounded by a relatively cooler inner core and cooler still (3 million degrees K) horseshoe-shaped ring.  ‘It is not what I expected,’ Fred Seward explains.  “I expected to see a strong point source with a little diffuse emission cloud around it.  Instead, we see just the opposite – a bright cloud of diffuse emission, and much less radiation from the center.’  Why this is so is unclear at present.”  See the June 1999 issue of Biblical Astronomy for previous information on Eta Carinae.





The new e-mail address for Biblical Astronomy is





That’s the Biblical Year 6000, which we may be in now, and will continue unto September 29, 2000.  The Gregorian date for Nisan 13 this coming Spring is April 17/18, 2000.  It is in my hypothesis that this is the greatest possibility for the beginning of the Great Tribulation according to what the heavens have portrayed since the Spring of 1996, starting with the arrival of Comet Hyakutake.  It was in the Fall of 1996 that the heavens greatly portrayed the casting down of the dragon and the beginning of Jacob’s Trouble.  It is in the Spring of 2000 that the heavens greatly portray the defeat of the beast and the false prophet, and the binding of the dragon.  There is no other time in history, past or future, that the heavens display these prophetic events in such a grandeur fashion.  I believe that there is a very good possibility that God is displaying these celestial events in the heavens for all to see, and after the last event concerning the Tribulation is portrayed (the binding of the dragon), then the actual events of the Tribulation will begin, with the revealing of the beast and the flight of the woman into the wilderness for 1,260 days.  The casting down of the dragon may occur a few weeks earlier.


Romans 1:18-20 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


For this study, most of the celestial events from the Fall of 1996 to the Spring of 2000 act as a template.  The beginning of the template will be placed on the day following the portrayal of the binding of the dragon, which is April 17/18, 2000.  The end of the template falls on October 19, 2003 (Tishri 22, 6004 – or the Last Great Day).  I typed up a Celestial and Prophetic Timeline Template which covers selected major events as an aid to this study.  Click here to view.


Get out your copy of A Voice Crying in the Heavens and blow the dust off.  I will be referring to this work more that a few times.


The celestial event that I will start with and place at the beginning of the template is the woman clothed with the sun and the moon beneath her feet, which took place on October 13, 1996, one day after a solar eclipse.  This event is covered in A Voice Crying in the Heavens, 2nd edition, pp. 120-122.  I will refer to this book as Voice in the remainder of this study.

The date that will correspond on the template to the October 13, 1996 date this coming Spring is April 17, 2000.  There are 1,260 days from and including October 13, 1996 to March 25, 2000.  It is on March 25, 2000 that the first equidistant massing of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn occurs in as series of three equidistant massings (Voice, pp. 142-143).  This portrays the time of the gathering of the 144,000, the two witnesses, and other saints that are on the earth at that time.  On the template, this would correspond to September 28, 2003 (Rosh Hashanah).  There are 1,260 days from April 17, 2000 to September 28, 2003.


From March 25, 2000 to April 16, 2000, there are 22 days.  It is on April 16, 2000 that the binding of the dragon is portrayed in the heavens with the rare celestial event of a Mars/Saturn/Menkar conjunction (Voice, pp. 141, 142 & 146).  At this time the three bodies that are in conjunction are also in direct conjunction to the coordinate that Comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp were on April 10/11, 1996 and April 10/11, 1997 respectively (Voice, pp. 131-132 and the September 1997 issue of Biblical Astronomy).  On the template, this corresponds to October 19, 2003 or Tishri 22 – The Last Great Day.


The second equidistant massing of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn occurs on April 11, 2000 (Voice, pp. 142, 144).  On the template this corresponds to October 14, 2003 (Wednesday) or the third day of Tabernacles.  There is a good possibility that it will be during the Feast of Tabernacles the marriage supper of the Lamb will occur (Rev. 19:7-9).  And immediately following the feast, on the Last Great Day, The Lamb will come with His armies and defeat the beast, the false prophet, and the dragon (Rev. 19:11 – 20:3).


The third equidistant massing of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn occurs on April 19, 2000.  On the template, this corresponds to October 22, 2003, or, Tishri 25.  It may take a few days to complete the events of Revelation 19:11 – 20:3.


The casting down of the dragon was celestially portrayed on September 26/27, 1996 (Voice, pp. 108-119).  This was 16 days before the portrayal of the woman clothed with the sun and the moon beneath her feet.  The casting down of the dragon may occur 16 days before the beast is revealed.  If this is the case, then this may occur around April 1, 2000.


Towards the end of the 1,260 days, there are some very interesting celestial events occurring.  In the third week of August 2003, the Sun (the Bridegroom going forth), Jupiter (the Lord our Righteousness), Venus (the bright and morning star), and the star Regulus (the King star of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah) are massed in a very close grouping.  Jupiter and Venus pass conjunction on August 21.  Venus and Regulus pass conjunction and Jupiter and the Sun pass conjunction on August 22.  The Sun and Regulus pass conjunction on August 23.  Jupiter passes conjunction with Regulus on August 26.


On August 28, 2003 Mars will be at its closest approach to the earth for the next 1,010 years.  At this time, Mars will be shinning as brilliantly as Jupiter at its brightest.  It is in the beliefs of many ancient civilizations that when Mars approaches close to the earth, there will be great wars.  Could this be the precursor to Armageddon?  When the dragon is bound, he is bound for 1,000 years and then is let loose again for a little season (Rev. 20:3,4).  At the end of that “little season,” Satan and his armies are devoured by fire coming down from God out of the heavens in the final war (Rev. 20:7-10).


As seen from Jerusalem, Mars will rise about 20 minutes after sunset on August 28, 2003.  This is also the evening that the first crescent light of the new moon beginning Elul 1 will be seen.  By moonset, Mars will be well above the horizon and burning brilliantly.  Mars will be seen throughout the night until it sets at 5:11 a.m. the next morning.  Elul 1 begins the 40 day season of repentance, which continues to the Day of Atonement.


The above hypothesis is based on a 3 ½ year tribulation, not 7.  There are many Biblical scholars who have various interpretations of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27.  Some claim that the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is between the Anti Messiah and Israel, while others claim that it is a covenant between the Messiah and Israel.  There are also a number  of different theories (including that of Isaac Newton) that the first half of the 70th week has already been fulfilled.  One being that the Messiah fulfilled the first 3 ½ years of the covenant during His first appearance.  Until the events of the Tribulation come to pass, I consider most of the above as being possibilities.  For this particular study, I strongly consider that there is a good possibility that there are only 3 ½ years of the seventieth week left to be fulfilled, and the 3 ½ years, 42 months, and 1,260 day period written of in Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6,14; and 13:5 are all occurring at the same time.


A good work on the subject of the length of the tribulation was written by Colin Deal.  The title of the booklet is The Great Tribulation, How Long?  It can be purchased from End Time News for $4.00.  Another good work written by Colin Deal is The Revelation of the Beast, which is available for $5.00.  These can be purchased from:


End Time News

P.O. Box 455

Rutherford College, NC  28671


The End Time News website is at:





As previously written, the last sign or celestial portrayal out of a series of portrayals from 1996 to 2000 concerning the Great Tribulation occurs on the evening of April 16, 2000.  This will be seen from Jerusalem beginning shortly after sunset, and will be seen for about 45 minutes from that location.  The closest conjunction of Mars, Saturn and Menkar comes at 2:00 a.m., April 17, Jerusalem Time, but will not be visible from Jerusalem, since the celestial bodies involved will be well below the horizon.  The closest conjunction will be highly visible from the eastern part of the United States at that time, since it will be shortly after sunset there (April 16).  Sunset, April 17, is the beginning of Nisan 13. Nisan 13 ends at sunset April 18.


My good friend and colleague Bob Schlenker of Christian Research Ministries has written a good work on why Nisan 13 (of any given year) will be the most likely date that the “lawless one” will be revealed.  I was going to place this work in this issue of Biblical Astronomy with Bob’s permission.  But seeing that the article is 18 pages, it became somewhat unfeasible to place it in the newsletter.  For those of you with computers with internet access, the article The Sign for the Church – Part II/Nisan 13 – An Appointed Day of Infamy can be found at the following URL:


For those without computers, you can contact Bob Schlenker at the following address to inquire how to get a copy of the article.


Bob Schlenker

Christian Research Ministries

P.O. Box 620571

Orangevale, CA 95662


When I called Bob to get permission to place his article in the newsletter, I was informed that he was in a work related accident the day before, in which he severed two of his fingers.  Bob is self-employed and has no workman’s compensation.  I am sure that any financial gift to Bob and his ministry would be greatly appreciated at this time.


Bob leans towards Nisan 13, 2001 as being the date that the “lawless one” will be revealed.  My good friend and colleague Pyramidologist Ralph Lyman states that the Pyramid gives a timeline for the Great Tribulation beginning in the Spring of 2001 and ending in the Fall of 2004.  Ralph is currently writing a book on the Great Pyramid, which he hopes to have finished within the next year.  Though we all have differing opinions, they are all within the realm of  possibility.


Though I believe that there is a high probability that the Great Tribulation will begin this coming Spring, it is just that, a probability.  It remains to be seen if the events will actually happen at this time.





The following is an update of earthquake activity that has occurred since the writing of the October issue of Biblical Astronomy.  The listing is for all earthquakes that have occurred with a magnitude 5.0 or greater since October 9.


October 11             - 5.2 Cairo

October 13             - 5.3 Taiwan

October 16             - 7.1 southern California

October 22             - 6.4 Taiwan

- 6.0 Taiwan

October 25             - 6.1 Kuril Islands

October 26             - 6.3 New Zealand

October 30             - 5.2 Taiwan

Novembr 1             - 6.9 Taiwan

Novembr 4             - 5.0 Taiwan

- 5.6 northern China

Novembr 7             - 5.0 Turkey

Novembr 8             - 6.5 Columbia

- 6.2 Pakistan


Fiji quakes worry authorities – AFP, Nov. 10 –


“A series of unusual earth tremors in the north-western parts of mainland Fiji is worrying authorities, a senior official said Wednesday.  ‘I am concerned… I don’t know whether this signifies anything or whether it will just die down after a while,’ principle seismologist, Gajendra Prasad said.  The latest, and biggest in magnitude to date, occurred at midday Sunday and registered 4.1 on the Richter Scale.  People living in the area reported the shaking and rattling and the tremor was felt in the southern town of Navua about 300 km (186 miles) away.


More that 50 tremors were recorded in the area last weekend, apart from the bigger one at midday Sunday.  The tremors are worrying because they occur in an area where until May last year no previous seismological activity has ever been recorded.  ‘This is very unusual… it is concerning me.  My concern is that there may be a bigger one to come.  Since April, 128 events have been recorded,’ he said.  And they have been increasing in intensity.  But Prasad said if a major tremor does occur there will be no warning.



The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.