Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Report for April 2004 and the beginning of the Second Month of the astronomically correct Hebrew Calendar.
“On Tuesday April 20, 2004, observers across Israel looked for the New Moon but did not sight it. The moon had borderline astronomical conditions from Israel, which means it was not certain that it would have been visible even under ideal weather conditions. Barring further observation reports, New Moon Day will be observed tomorrow night, Wednesday April 21, 2004.”
According to Roy Hoffman of the New Moon Society, because of cloud conditions, the moon was not observable on April 20 from Jerusalem or nearby vicinity even if there was a thin crescent. The next New Moon is expected to be visible from Jerusalem around sunset on May 20, 2004, which will most likely be the beginning of the third month on the Hebrew Calendar.
William Bradfield from Yankalilla, South Australia, discovered a surprise new, bright comet on March 23, 2004. Comet Bradfield (C/2004 F4) became visible to the naked eye around April 14 for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. The comet was around a magnitude 3.0 at its brightest.
The comet was observable in the Northern Hemisphere in the lower latitudes and in the southern United States on April 21/22. It was still visible to the naked eye (magnitude 4.8) on April 27 from the Northern Hemisphere but is now fading in brightness. It will most likely be out of naked eye visibility within a week.
According to reports, this comet is a magnificent object to see through binoculars. For the moment it is stealing the show from Comet LINEAR T7, which is now gaining in brightness and in the same neighborhood in the heavens as is Comet Bradfield. But both are headed in opposite directions.
Comet Bradfield on April 22, 2004
Chart 252 below shows the path (red line) of Comet Bradfield from March 23 (the date of discovery) to May 5, 2004. The comet is moving upward through Pisces to Andromeda. It did a hook around the point where the bands of Pisces are attached to Cetus (the beast from the sea).
Chart 352 - Path of Comet Bradfield from March 23 to May 5 2004
The Biblical theme of the sign Pisces (which includes its decan constellation Andromeda) is the Nation of Israel in bondage and captivity. Celestial events occurring in this sign can signify Israel going into bondage and captivity, or, coming out of bondage and captivity. The interpretation depends on the context of surrounding celestial signs and events. I believe here, we have a magnificent portrayal of Israel (both houses) coming out of bondage.
Chart 253 below shows the positions of both Comet Bradfield and Comet LINEAR T7 in Pisces on April 21, 2004. Both comets were visible to the naked eye on that date. Comet Bradfield is in the fish that represents the House of Ephraim and Comet LINEAR T7 is in the fish that represents the House of Judah (see the article Two Houses, Two Fish in the May 2002 issue of Biblical Astronomy).
Chart 353 - Comets Bradfield and LINEAR (C/2002 T7) on April 21, 2004
It is also interesting that at that time, as well as now (April 27) that the two brightest planets, Zedek (Jupiter) and Nogah (Venus) are in the constellations Arieh (Leo) and Shur (Taurus) respectively. Arieh represents the Lion of the House of Judah, and Shur representing the House of Ephraim. These are big signs in respect to the Two Houses. It may prove to be a very exciting Shavuot (Pentecost) this year (May 30). Does Yahoshua (Jesus) have something special in store for his sheepfolds at this time? We will soon know.
Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7) on April 17, 2004
The two comets that highlight the month of May are Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7) pictured above and Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4) pictured below. Both comets are now (April 27) at magnitude 4.0 – visible to the naked eye and described as stunning through binoculars. Both comets have yet to reach peak magnitude and should grow much brighter from early to mid May.
Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4) on April 26, 2004
Chart 354 below shows the path (red line) of Comet NEAT from May 7 to June 7 2004. The Comet will most likely reach its peak brightness on May 7, when it reaches its closest approach to Earth at about 30 million miles on May 5/6. It is possible that it could reach magnitude 1.0 in brightness at that time, though it seems more likely that it will be between magnitude 2.0 and 3.0.
Chart 354 - Path of Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4 – Red Line Above) from May 7 to June 7, 2004
The below chart shows Comet NEAT above the west-southwest horizon as seen from Jerusalem in the early evening of May 7, 2004. The planets Venus, Mars and Saturn are lined up east of the comet.
Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4) on May 7, 2004
Comet LINEAR may reach the same brightness when it is at its closest approach to Earth on May 19 at about 25 million miles. However, the comet will only be visible in the Southern Hemisphere at that time. (Both dates for the closest approaches of the above comets differ slightly from previous dates given in the January/February issue of Biblical Astronomy due to updated data on their orbital elements).
Comet LINEAR should return to a Northern Hemisphere visible object around May 25. Chart 355 below shows the position of Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7) in the early evening sky above the west-southwest horizon on May 25, 2004 as seen from Jerusalem. The comet is about 8 degrees above the horizon in the evening twilight.
Chart 355 - Comet LINEAR C/2002 T7 on May 25, 2004
It is quite rare for three comets of such magnitude to come to their closest approach to the earth within a one-month period. It appears that the draught is over. For more information and charts on Comets NEAT Q4 and LINEAR T7 see the January/February 2004 and March/April 2004 issues of Biblical Astronomy.
There will be a Total Lunar Eclipse that will be visible in its entirety from Israel on May 4, 2004. This eclipse will not be visible from the United States. The moon will rise during its totality for Scotland, Ireland, and the eastern part of South America. The moon should appear a coppery color as seen from Israel.
Chart 356 below shows the position of the moon in Libra (the scales or the sacred alter) during the peak of the eclipse as seen from Jerusalem around 11:30 pm. The moon is in conjunction with the star Zuben al Genubi (the price which is deficient) at that time. The red line on the chart is the ecliptic, which is the path that the sun travels through the Twelve Signs. As seen from Jerusalem, the moon will start to enter the umbral (dark) shadow of the earth around 9:55 pm and will exit the umbral shadow around 1:10 am. The moon will be seen totally eclipsed from Jerusalem from about 10:55 p.m. to 12:07 a.m..
Chart 356 - Total Lunar Eclipse in Libra on May 4, 2004
On May 2, 2004 the planet Nogah (Venus, the bright and morning star) will be at its brightest magnitude at a –4.5 during its current evening apparition.
On May 5, 2004 Nogah will reach its northernmost point in Earth’s sky. It will be farther north than at any time in the 20th century, and will set really late (for Venus) in the northwest, near midnight.
Nogah has been burning brightly over the western horizon for over two months now and continues to dazzle us as it nears its appointment to transit the sun on June 8. There will be more on this in the June issue of Biblical Astronomy.
Adom (Mars) and Sabbatei (Saturn) will come into conjunction (same celestial longitude) on May 24, 2004 in the constellation Thaumim (Gemini). Chart 357 below shows the positions of the two planets in Gemini as seen from Jerusalem when the conjunction occurs.
Chart 357 - Mars and Saturn in Conjunction in Gemini on May 24, 2004
The conjunction takes place in the right figure of Gemini. In its portrayal of the two-fold nature of Messiah, first coming to suffer for his people and then returning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, it is the right figure that represents the returning King who will tread His enemies under his feet.
Adom (Mars), depending on the context, can either represent Michael the warrior angel who fights against the Devil (Satan), or blood or war (the one who breaks or wounds the enemy). Saturn, in this context, represents Satan.
The main theme of the sign Gemini is Messiah’s reign as Prince of Peace. One of the decan constellations that belong to the sign Gemini is Canis Major. As mentioned in previous writings, Canis Major was an eagle or a hawk in the more ancient planispheres, not a dog, and represents the coming glorious Prince of Princes as signified by its brightest star Sirius (the Prince, Sar as in Isaiah 9:6). Sirius is the brightest star (other than the planets) in the heavens as seen from Earth. It was at one time called Naz-Seir, the Sent Prince who was to come and destroy the evil one. It was written of Messiah that he should be called a Naz-Seir-ene (see the article He Shall be Called a Nazarene in the January/February 2004 issue of Biblical Astronomy).
This conjunction of Mars and Saturn is of particular interest since it occurs on the same evening that Comet LINEAR T7 crosses the path of Comet Neat Q4 in Canis Major near the star Sirius. Again, see the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of BA for further info and charts on the two comets. The timing of these two events in the same sign (Gemini) is just impeccable. There is definitely no shortage of signs in the month of May 2004. Taking all of these events into consideration and the timing involved, these are not just signs, these are GREAT SIGNS in the heavens. We shall see what we shall see.
Where did the year go? It is that time again to renew subscriptions for the next subscription year which is from July 2004 to June 2005. As you have most likely noticed, this issue is printed with some color in it and appears a bit clearer than normal. Over the past 8 years, printing costs have quadrupled at copy centers. I recently invested in a business color printer that prints on two sides of paper. For a little extra cost than black and white copies would cost me, I can now print the newsletters with much clearer definition and in color in the pictures and the charts
Over the last 8 years I only increased the price for the newsletter subscription once, and that was 6 years ago. The postage for mailing the newsletters has increased during that time also. Due to increased quality and costs, I have decided to raise the subscription price $5.00. A one-year subscription to Biblical Astronomy will be increased starting July 1, 2004 to $25.00 per year domestic, $30.00 Canada and $35.00 overseas. (For those who have already subscribed for the year or for those who subscribe before July 1, 2004, the subscription cost is $20.00 domestic, $25.00 Canada, and $30.00 overseas).
There is still no fee for those who get the newsletter on the website but all donations to Biblical Astronomy are most welcomed and much appreciated. I am thankful to Yahuweh Elohim for this ministry that He has entrusted me with through His beloved Son, and I look forward to serving you another year, Yahuweh willing.
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Yahuweh bless you at least as much as He has blessed me in the knowledge of His salvation through His most beloved Son. In His Son’s new name.