THIS WEEK! Moon and Three Planets

July,2018 is an excellent month to observe the visible outer planets. The waxing gibbous Moon aligns with bright Jupiter on the evening of Friday, July 20. After that, the Moon draws closest to the planet Saturn on the evening of Tuesday, July 24. Keep an eye on the Moon from night to night as it draws near Mars on the … Continue reading

A Brief History of Mars

A Brief History of Mars (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update of August, 2003) Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” — Isaiah 47:13 Mars has always been the subject of mythology, from the pagan … Continue reading

Planets of 2018

Most of the time, this newsletter provides information for observing the classical planets. For whatever reason, these planets are largely unknown in our generation. There is a misconception that the planets can only be seen through a telescope and are invisible with the unaided eye. This is completely untrue. The fact is, the planets are among the brightest “stars” that … Continue reading

The Design of the Sky – Orion’s Belt

The Design of the Sky – Orion’s Belt (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update newsletter) In speaking of the constellations, you hear people say all the time, “I don’t know how anyone is supposed to see those pictures in the stars. I don’t see anything like that.” It is true that a lot of the so-called constellations require quite … Continue reading

Easter and Passover – Similarities and Differences

Easter and Passover – Similarities and Differences (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update in 2008) As we saw in the last Update, the Christian observance of Easter was originally based on the Jewish Passover, and developed its own cultural distinctives over the centuries. This current month provides evidence of this divergence. April, 2008 roughly corresponds with the month of … Continue reading

The Paschal Moon

The Paschal Moon (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update in 2005) Mel Gibson’s stunning motion picture, “The Passion of The Christ,” opens with a dramatic closeup view of the Full Moon. From there, we see Jesus and His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the subsequent events from the Gospels are shown set against the pale brightness of … Continue reading

Is Easter Pagan? (“Pagan Influences?” Series)

Is Easter Pagan? (“Pagan Influences?” Series) (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update, Thursday, March 20, 2008) The feast of LORD’s resurrection, commonly known by the name Easter in the English language, is one of the most ancient observances in Christianity. Most Christians today keep this traditional Sunday holiday as a special day unto the LORD. However, in recent years, … Continue reading

The Astronomy of Easter

The Astronomy of Easter (Originally published in the Classical Astronomy Update in 2003) He is not here: for He is risen! – Matthew 28:6 Every Christian knows that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, and in this way became the perfect Passover sacrifice, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” … Continue reading