COMET ELENIN & THE FEAST DAYS
By John Henry
September 10, 2011
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and LET THEM BE FOR SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and years." (Genesis 1:14)
A Russian amateur astronomer, Leonid Elenin of Lyubertsy near Moscow, discovered a magnitude 19 (note 1) comet (known as C/2010 X1) on December 10, 2010 using a remotely controlled telescope situated in New Mexico, USA.
Comet Elenin will be closest to the Sun today, September 10, 2011, at 0.48 Astronomical Unit (note 2), and closest to Earth on 16 & 17 October 2011 at 0.23 Astronomical Unit (AU) or about 35 million kilometers (22 million miles) from Earth during its closest approach.
Elenin has been intrinsically faint at magnitude 10, but should be visible to the unaided eye at magnitude 4 in the evening sky for Southern hemisphere observers during early September 2011. Faint comets are usually gas rich and dust poor, but they do have a tendency to brighten rapidly when they are near the Sun. By mid September, it continues to brighten but is lost to evening twilight. During early October Elenin will reappear in dawn skies in the Northern hemisphere. In mid-October it will again be visible in the Southern hemisphere, but moonlight will interfere until October 23rd.
Comet Honda will join Elenin on 7 October on the eastern horizon in the Northern hemisphere making for a rare treat. Both comets will be around magnitude 5 or 6 and should be visible with the unaided eye with clear skies, and a dark location.
These comets are interesting Biblically for the following reasons:
1. Earth, Elenin and the Sun are in alignment on 28 September. Then the next day, 29 September, Eleinin leaves the alignment. September 29th is the Biblical Feast of Trumpets, a foreshadow of the Rapture (Leviticus 23:23-25; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Furthermore, the United Nations General Assembly will be in session from September 28th to 30th to vote on whether to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state.
2. When Elenin and Honda become visible together on the night of 7 October it will be the beginning of Feast of Atonement, a picture of the 7 year Tribulation (Leviticus 23:26-32; cf. Daniel 9:27, 12:1 ; Matthew 24:21).
3. When Elenin is closes to the Earth on October 16, 17 & 18 at 22 million miles (0.23 AU) it will be during the Feast of Tabernacles, a type of the Millennial reign of Christ, and the eternal state after that (Leviticus 23:33-43; cf. Revelation 20:1-6, 21:1-7).
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:25-28)
1. Visible stars are measured by brightness (Magnitude) on a scale of 1 to 6, the brightest being 1. Magnitudes on the scale with numbers greater than 6 are not visible to the naked eye. Objects brighter than Magnitude 1 are indicated as minus (i.e. -1, -2. -3).
2. One Astronomical Unit (AU) is the distance from the center of the Earth to the center of the Sun.