Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Catastrophism/Planet X
Submitted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: April 11, 2003
9 Nissan, 5763
April 11, 2003
2. Excerpt from Velikovsky book "Ages in Chaos" on Similarities between Papyrus Ipuwer and the Exodus
3. Example of Manuscripts Used
4. Recent News Stories
5. Links of Interest
Catastrophism is the belief that at certain times in earth's history there have been sudden, dramatic events that have altered the landscape. This flies in the face of evolutionary thought with its description of slow, plodding, subtle earth changes that have taken millennia to form. One of the most recent documented examples of catastrophism is the Mount St. Helens eruption—a few scant seconds changed the skyline forever.
One of the greatest proponents of catastrophism was Immanuel Velikovsky. He wrote a book in the mid 20th century called "Worlds in Collision" where he theorized that the Bible narrative along with myths, legends and ancient manuscripts from around the world document cataclysmic events in history. One of these is the time period that included the ten plagues and the Exodus from Egypt. Seeing there are so many parallels between these and the "plagues" in the book of Revelation it would seem to be a fertile area to examine in these end-times. Taking as our axiom that "there is nothing new under the sun," history is the place to look for examples of the future events described within the last book of the Bible.
Velikovsky starts off the first book in his series describing different theories on the creation of the solar system and sums them all up by saying:"The origin of the planets and their satellites remains unsolved. The theories not only contradict one another, but each of them bears within itself its own contradictions." This leaves the door open for his hypothesis which deals with comets—their formation, close encounters with earth and subsequent altered paths as a consequence of the interaction with our solar system. Seeing we weren't around at the beginning of the solar system every theory is only speculation so: "The most we can do, it is believed, is to investigate one planet, the one under our feet, in order to learn its past; and then, by the deductive method, to apply the results to other members of the solar system." This seems like good science, however, the name Velikovsky in scientific circles is tantamount to a curse word and the brouhaha after the publishing of "Worlds in Collision" even sparked what is now called the "Velikovsky affair" where he was mercilessly skewered by "educated men" while remaining on the best-seller list for many, many weeks. His views were, and still are, very controversial.
The bulk of the book is made up of quotes from different sources from peoples, cultures, and traditions that span the entire globe. For each heading there are at least 3-4 sources quoted, which on their own may not be very impressive, but drawn together as he has done present a mighty convincing tale. Take, for instance, one section he tackles entitled, "World Ages." He explains that:"A conception of ages that were brought to their end by violent changes in nature is common all over the world. The number of ages differs from people to people and from tradition to tradition. The difference depends on the number of catastrophes that the particular people retained in its memory, or on the way it reckoned the end of an age." He then backs this up with these examples:
- "In the annals of ancient Etruria, according to Varro, were records of seven elapsed ages. Censorinus, an author of the third Christian century and compiler of Varro, wrote that 'men thought that different prodigies appeared by means of which the gods notified mortals at the end of each age. The Etruscans were versed in the science of the stars, and after having observed the prodigies with attention, they recorded these observations in their books."
- "The Greeks had similar traditions. 'There is a period,' wrote Censorinus, 'called "the supreme year" by Aristotle, at the end of which the sun, moon, and all the planets return to their original position. This "supreme year" has a great winter, called by the Greeks kataklysmos, which means deluge, and a great summer, called by the Greeks ekpyrosis, or combustion of the world. The world, actually, seems to be inundated and burned alternately in each of these epochs.'"
- "Anaximenes and Anaximander in the sixth pre-Christian century, and Diogenes of Apollonia in the Fifth century, assumed the destruction of the world with subsequent recreation."
- "Heraclitus (540 to 475 BC) taught that the world is destroyed in conflagration after every period of 10,800 years."
- "Aristarchus of Samos in the third century before the present era taught that in a period of 2,484 years the earth undergoes two destructions—of combustion and deluge."
- He goes on to quote from the Stoics, Hindus, Mazdaism, Chinese, Incas, Aztecs, Mayas, Hawaiians, Jewish traditions.
There is enough information of this sort in each section to determine for yourself whether or not he has made his case. After reading this section I come away with the understanding that many cultures had a tradition that there were certain time periods, they for the most part called "ages," where there was some sort of catastrophic event that heralded the close of one age and the beginning of the next. This is a detailed example of what you can find for each of the following areas discussed below.
The first half of the book deals with the middle of the second millennium BC when the earth "underwent one of the greatest catastrophes in its history." A new member of the solar system, a comet, came very close to earth. Coming into contact with the tail of this comet, these phenomena were seen:
- earth covered with a red dust that made bodies of water look bloody (Mayan manuscript says the earth quaked, sun's motion interrupted, and waters in the rivers turned to blood; Egyptian Papyrus Ipuwer states "The river is blood." "Men shrink from tasting, human beings thirst after water"; Finnish Kalevala describes cosmic upheaval and the world being sprinkled with red milk; Tartars tell of when "blood turns whole world red," etc.)
- earthquakes, noisy earth
rain of fire, naphtha "Crude petroleum is composed of two elements, carbon and hydrogen...The tails of comets are composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen gases. Lacking oxygen, they do not burn in flight, but the inflammable gases, passing through an atmosphere containing oxygen, will be set on fire. If carbon and hydrogen gases, or vapor of a composition of these
two elements, enter the atmosphere in huge masses, a part of them will burn, binding all the oxygen available at the moment; the rest will escape combustion, but in swift transition will become liquid. Falling on the ground, the substance, if liquid, would sink into the pores of the sand and into clefts between the rocks; falling on water, it would remain floating if the fire in the air is
extinguished before new supplies of oxygen arrive from other regions."
(Does this explain the origins of the oil deposits in the Middle East? Is the Jordan Rift Valley which ends in the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, the path of a huge incoming bolide that deposited its "tail" in the regions surrounding it?)
- prolonged night in one hemisphere, prolonged day in other hemisphere
- great ocean tides
- "battle in the sky" "The events in the sky were viewed by the peoples of the world as a fight between an evil monster in the form of a serpent and the light-god who engaged the monster in battle and thus saved the world."
- great lightnings between earth and comet
- "the collapsed sky"
- boiling earth and sea (the interior of the earth pushed outward toward comet) (Mount Sinai?)
- earth's rotation changed, used to be East to West, now West to East
- reversed polarity of earth
- loathsome vermin
- changes in times and seasons (Velikovsky thinks this first encounter with the comet happened around the time of the Exodus. This seems to help explain to those people who wonder why God needed to tell Moses how to arrange the calendar in Exodus 12 that it wasn't because Moses somehow forgot the workings of the calendar [he was trained, after all, in Pharaoh's house] but that the world had gone crazy and times and seasons needed to be re-established [some believe that Exodus 12 was just God establishing his own calendar]. There is a section in "Worlds in Collision" that speaks of how the Chinese Emperor Yahou's reign was remembered because he sent scholars to different parts of China to find out where north, south, east and west were and to draw up a new calendar because the seasons were out of whack; there had been a period of time where the sun didn't set for ten days and other cataclysmic events happened. Both Moses and Emperor Yahou supposedly were speaking of the same time period.)
Every one of the items listed above could be said to be included in the book of Revelation and makes me wonder whether the manifestation of all the signs in that apocalyptic book might be explained by the passing of a comet close to earth? Within a short period of time every "curse" recorded there could come to pass and be considered a fulfillment of the wrath of God.
The earth came into contact with a comet, which Velikovsky names as the planet Venus; it came close to the earth and then was trapped into its present orbit as the 2nd planet closest to the sun in our solar system. Ancient tablets corroborate his theory as they show only four known planets: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn adding Venus, the fifth, at a later date. This is hard to understand seeing Venus is so easily seen in the sky nowadays unless at one time it wasn't there (or maybe considered as a permanent member?). Early traditions speak of how Venus had a tail, a "beard," had "horns" like a bull. It was also called the "star that smoked" and was considered the one that became wild and attacked the planets. The month of April was dedicated to Venus. Venus along with the Moon and the Sun were considered the Babylonian holy trinity. Human sacrifices were offered to the Morning Star in various places.
Other names for Venus are:
- Morning Star
- star of lamentation
- queen of heaven
- celestial cow (start of Hindu cow worship)
Venus had once been a comet. After close encounters with the earth it settled into an elliptical orbit that threatened not only earth but Mars as well. Velikovsky postulates that Venus' close approach to Mars on one of these passes pushed it off its path and close to earth at the time of the Iliad and the Odyssey about seven centuries after the events of the Exodus; he believes Homer wrote of this close encounter in both books. Before that time Mars had never been feared but after its close approach to the earth it became the god of war and the peoples of the earth trembled at the name. As it approached the earth its atmosphere was stretched out and appeared like a sword and it, too, caused cataclysmic events to unfold.
The rest of "Worlds in Collision" describes how Mars impacted the earth and is outside the scope of this study. The near approach of a comet/planet towards earth, whether Venus or Mars, culminated in the same phenomena being felt throughout the world as has been described above. Having said that, I would like to point out a few things of interest in the section on Mars:
- Amos predicted "a cosmic upheaval and after the catastrophe Isaiah, Joel, Hosea and Micah insisted unanimously and with great emphasis on the inevitability of another encounter of the earth with some cosmic body."
- some astronomical event warranted the adoption of a new calendar in 747 BC
- Seneca relates of a time when "the luminaries crossed their former paths obliquely; the poles were shifted; the year lengthened, the orbit of the earth became wider."
- destruction of Sennacherib's army coincides with manuscripts from around the world describing celestial phenomena; Talmud and Midrashim say on Passover; Confucius records March 23, 687(?) BC
Roman tradition states that the conception of Romulus, the foundation of Rome and the death of Romulus were accompanied by celestial signs. Plutarch writes: "The legend says that Romulus was conceived in the first year of the second Olympiad (772 BC) when the sun was totally eclipsed. According to Latin historians, on the very day of Rome's foundation, the sun was
disrupted in its movement and the world was darkened. In Romulus' time 'a plague fell upon the land, bringing sudden death without previous sickness,' and 'a rain of blood' and other calamities. Earthquakes convulsed the earth for a long period. Jewish tradition knows that 'the first settlers of Rome found that the huts collapsed as soon as built.'
"The death of Romulus occurred when, according to Plutarch, 'suddenly strange and unaccountable disorders with incredible changes filled the air; the light of the sun failed, and night came down upon them, not with peace and quiet, but with awful peals of thunder and furious blasts,' and amidst this storm Romulus disappeared.
"Ovid's description of the phenomena on the day of Romulus' death is this: 'Both the poles shook, and Atlas shifted the burden of the sky...The sun vanished and rising clouds obscured the heaven...the sky was riven by shooting flames. The people fled and the king [Romulus] upon his father's [Mars'] steeds soared to the stars.'"
- "when Mars clashed with Venus, asteroids, meteorites and gases were torn" from the tail and formed "newborn comets" They "looked like revolving torches or writhing snakes; they assumed the form of spinning wheels, and the celestial phantasmagoria appeared like swift chariots, changing their forms [they] looked like horses racing along the sky, and then again like a host of warriors, leaping, climbing irresistible." (Ezekiel 1?)
- "there are seven archangels each of whom is associated with a planet"; Michael/Venus, Gabriel/Mars
- orientation of palaces, obelisks, water clocks show discrepancies that are attributed to the movement of the earth in its orbit
- lengthy section on the change from 360 day years to 365 1/4 day years
Cosmic collisions amongst the planets of our solar system have happened since time immemorial. You have only to look at large craters on earth and the pock-marked moon for evidence of deep impacts as well as the recent Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 encounter with the planet Jupiter (interestingly, Velikovsky believes Venus was torn from Jupiter)."Traditions about upheavals and catastrophes, found among all peoples, are generally discredited because of the shortsighted belief that no forces could have shaped the world in the past that are not at work also at the present time, a belief that is the very foundation of modern geology and of the theory of evolution. 'Present continuity implies the improbability of past catastrophism and violence of change, either in the lifeless or in the living world; moreover, we seek to interpret the changes and laws of past time through those which we observe at the present time. This was Darwin's secret, learned from Lyell.' It has been shown in this book, however, that forces which at present do not act on the earth, did so act in historical times, and that these forces are of a purely physical character. Scientific principles do not warrant maintaining that a force which does not act now, could not have acted previously. Or must we be in permanent collision with the planets and comets in order to believe in such catastrophes?"
May 15, 2003 has been chosen by some in the "planet x" community as the time when a mysterious tenth planet will make its way into our solar system and wreak havoc on the earth and surrounding planets. Is this true or false? I don't know. The date seems to be pure speculation and some have hypothesized that someone (conspiracy theorists take note!) is pushing this date so that when it comes and goes with nary a ripple in space everyone will laugh it off and forget the whole thing until the REAL menace shows up months or years later—they're selling a false sense of security as not to panic the general public."ZetaTalk began on January 19, 1995 in Michael Lindemann's ISCNI chat group, and lead its introduction by announcing that at approximately May 15, 2003 the world would experience another pole shift...In short, ZetaTalk was the source of a warning about a passage of Planet X in 2003. Accept no substitutes." (http://www.zetatalk.com/index/px2003.htm) Whether or not May 15th will be the day when something comes close to earth or not isn't the concern of this study for, as I said, I don't know about the date. What I DO believe is that something IS scheduled to make a near approach to earth. After reading and studying Velikovsky's work for the last decade I have become more and more convinced that it is just a matter of time, and during my lifetime, that the earth will witness another close encounter with some large object, whether comet or planet, which will inaugurate the Day of the Lord and the end of the present age and the beginning of the Millennial Messianic Age. There are too many parallels between what is recorded in ancient history and what is recorded as future events in the book of Revelation to be just a coincidence—it takes more faith to believe that it won't happen than to believe it will.
- what used to be in the asteroid belt?
- why is the sun acting so strangely even after solar maximum has come and gone?
- why is the weather so crazy? is it man-made or space age?
- why so many close calls with asteroids lately? better data recording or cosmic push?
- why all the hype for a May 15th Planet X encounter? where do they get this stuff?
- is there anything out there heading our way? is it a comet, Planet X, Nibiru, Rahab, New Jerusalem, Satan's Hammer, Wormwood or a figment of someone's overactive imagination?
- what happens if we're wrong?
The expected arrival of the Panawave Laboratory doomsday cult in the normally tranquil Yamanashi Prefecture village of Oizumi has unsettled residents, as the motorcade of cultists continued to snake around central Japan on Friday.
The white-clad cult members, who were forced by police Thursday to leave Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture, where they had occupied a section of road for a week since April 25, made a short journey in their fleet of white vehicles and arrived at a neighboring village of Kiyomi in the predawn hours of Friday.
The dozens of cultists immediately covered crash barriers and trees alongside the road where they have parked their vehicles with white cloths, which they believe will protect them and their ailing guru from "harmful electromagnetic waves."
Local authorities have promptly demanded cult representative Keiichi Hasegawa to move out. The cult members are expected to move on from their latest stopover, which has put the residents of Oizumi, their likeliest final destination, on full alert.
In Oizumi, Panawave Laboratory members are constructing dome-shaped structures, which they claim to be resistant to any kind of natural disasters.
The cult's publications indicated that its members are convinced that the human race will be destroyed on May 15 this year because of a dramatic change in the angles of the Earth's axis.
In response, the Oizumi Municipal Government set up a task force Friday to deal with the cult.
Eighty members of the task force were drawn from local assembly members as well as representatives from Oizumi villagers. They will hold their first meeting on Saturday.
"All of us will work together to get rid of them if they do come to our village," Akira Kobayashi, a deputy mayor of Oizumi, said.
Meanwhile, the discovery of a mysterious white van in the Tokyo suburb of Chofu prompted residents to alert police.
Eyewitnesses said the vehicle has been parked at a parking lot in the city's Jindaiji district for the past couple of weeks.
Although there was no one was inside the van, the interior was all painted prompting police to investigate whether the vehicle, which bears number plates issued in Okayama, is related to the Panawave cult. (Compiled from Mainichi and wire reports, May 2, 2003)
(Many people believe that the end-time book of Revelation is another Exodus scenario.)
Excerpt from Ages in Chaos,
by Immanuel Velikovsky:
"It is not known under what circumstances the papyrus containing the words of Ipuwer was found. According to its first possessor (Anastasi), it was found in "Memphis", by which is probably meant the neighborhood of the pyramids of Saqqara. In 1828 the papyrus was acquired by the Museum of Leiden or Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands and is listed in the catalogue as Leiden 344.
The papyrus is written on both sides. The face (recto) and the back (verso) are differentiated by the direction of the fiber tissues; the story of Ipuwer is written on the face, on the back is a hymn to a deity. A facsimile copy of both texts was published by the authorities of the museum together with other Egyptian documents. The text of Ipuwer is now bolded into a book of seventeen pages, most of them containing fourteen lines of hieratic signs (a flowing writing used by the scribes, quite different from pictorial hieroglyphics). Of the first page only a third -- the left or last part of eleven lines -- is preserved; pages 9 to 16 are in veery bad condition -- there are but a few lines at the top and bottom of the pages -- and of the seventeenth page only the beginning of the first two lines remains.
In 1909 the text, translated anew, was published by Alan H. Gardiner under the title, The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage from a Hieratic Papyrus in Leiden. Gardiner argued that all the internal evidence of the text points to the historical character of the situation. Egypt was in distress; the social system had become disorganized; violence filled the land. Invaders preyed upon the defenceless population; the rich were stripped of everything and slept in the open, and the poor took their possessions. "It is no merely local disturbance that is here described, but a great and overwhelming national disaster."
Gardiner... interprets the text as though the words of a sage name Ipuwer were directed to some king, blaming him for inactivity which has brought confusion, insecurity, and suffering to the people. "The Almighty", to whom Ipuwer directs his words, is a customary appellation of great gods. Because the introductory passages of the papyrus, where the author and his listeners would be likely to be mentioned, are missing, the presence of the king listening to the sage is assumed on the basis of the preferred form of certain other literary examples of the Middle Kingdom. In accordance with this interpretation, the papyrus containing the words of Ipuwer is called, in the Gardiner edition, Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage.
Egypt in Upheaval
The Papyrus Ipuwer is not a collection of proverbs... or riddles; no more is it a literary prophecy... or an admonition concerning profound social changes. It is the Egyptian version of a great catastrophe.
The papyrus is a script of lamentations, a description of ruin and horror.
PAPYRUS 2:8 Forsooth, the land turns round as does a potter's wheel.
2:11 The towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become dry (wastes?).
3:13 All is ruin!
7:4 The residence is overturned in a minute.
4:2 ... Years of noise. There is no end to noise.
What do "noise" and "years of noise" denote? The translator wrote: "There is clearly some play upon the word hrw (noise) here, the point of which is to us obscure." Does it mean "earthquake" and "years of earthquake"? In Hebrew the word raash signifies "noise", "commotion", as well as "earthquake". Earthquakes are often accompanied by loud sounds, subterranean rumbling and roaring, and this acoustic phenomenon gives the name to the upheaval itself.
Apparently the shaking returned again and again, and the country was reduced to ruins, the state went into sudden decline, and life became unbearable.
PAPYRUS 6:1 Oh, that the earth would cease from noise, and tumult (uproar) be no more.
The noise and the tumult were produced by the earth. The royal residence would be overthrown "in a minute" and left in ruins....
The papyrus of Ipuwer contains evidence of some natural cataclysm accompanied by earthquakes and bears witness to the appearance of things as they happened at that time.
I shall compare some passages from the Book of Exodus and from the papyrus. As, prior to the publication of Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos, no parallels had been drawn between the Bible and the text of the Papyrus Ipuwer, the translator of the papyrus could not have been influenced by a desire to make his translation resemble the biblical text.
PAPYRUS 2:5-6 Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.
EXODUS 7:21 ... there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
This was the first plague.
PAPYRUS 2:10 The river is blood.
EXODUS 7:20 ... all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
This water was loathsome, and the people could not drink it.
PAPYRUS 2:10 Men shrink from tasting -- human beings, and thirst after water.
EXODUS 7:24 And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.
The fish in the lakes and the river died, and worms, insects, and reptiles bred prolifically.
EXODUS 7:21 ... and the river stank.
PAPYRUS 3:10-13 That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin!
The destruction in the fields is related in these words:
EXODUS 9:25 ... and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
PAPYRUS 4:14 Trees are destroyed.
6:1 No fruit nor herbs are found..
This portent was accompanied by consuming fire. Fire spread all over the land.
EXODUS 9:23-24 ... the fire ran along the ground.... there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous.
PAPYRUS 2:10 Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire.
The fire which consumed the land was not spread by human hand but fell from the skies.
By this torrent of destruction, according to Exodus,
EXODUS 9:31-32 ... the flax and the barley was smitten; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was boiled. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
It was after the next plague that the fields became utterly barren. Like the Book of Exodus (9:31-32 and 10:15), the papyrus relates that no duty could be rendered to the crown for wheat and barley; and as in Exodus 7:21 ("And the fish that was in the river died"), there was no fish for the royal storehouse.
PAPYRUS 10:3-6 Lower Egypt weeps... The entire palace is without its revenues. To it belong (by right) wheat and barley, geese and fish.
The fields were entirely devastated.
EXODUS 10:15 ... there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the fields, through all the land of Egypt.
PAPYRUS 6:3 Forsooth, grain has perished on every side.
5:12 Forsooth, that has perished which yesterday was seen. The land is left over to its weariness like the cutting of flax.
The statement that the crops of the fields were destroyed in a single day ("which yesterday was seen") excludes drought, the usual cause of a bad harvest; only hail, fire, or locusts could have left the fields as though after "the cutting of flax". The plague is described in Psalms 105:34-35 in these words: "... the locusts came, and caterpillars, and that without number. And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground."
PAPYRUS 6:1 No fruit nor herbs are found... hunger.
The cattle were in a pitiful condition.
EXODUS 9:3 ... the hand of the Lord is upon the cattle which is in the field... there shall be a very grievous murrain.
PAPYRUS 5:5 All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan....
Hail and fire made the frightened cattle flee.
EXODUS 9:19 .. gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field...
21 And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.
PAPYRUS 9:2-3 Behold, cattle are left to stray, and there is none to gather them together. Each man fetches for himself those that are branded with his name.
The ninth plague, according to the Book of Exodus, covered Egypt with profound darkness.
EXODUS 10:22 ... and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt.
PAPYRUS 9:11 The land is not light....
"Not light" is in Egyptian equivalent to "without light" or "dark". But there is some question as to whether the two sentences are entirely parallel. The years of wandering in the desert are described as spent in gloom under a cover of thick clouds....
The Last Night before the Exodus
According to the Book of Exodus, the last night the Israelites were in Egypt was a night in which death struck instantly and took victims from every Egyptian home. The death of so many in a single night, even at the same hour of midnight, cannot be explained by a pestilence, which would last more than a single hour. The story of the last plague does seem like a myth; it is a stranger in the sequence of the other plagues, which can be explained...
...Apparently we have before us the testimony of an Egyptian witness of the plagues.
On careful reading of the papyrus, it appeared that the slaves were still in Egypt when at least one great shock occurred, ruining houses and destroying life and fortune. It precipitated a general flight of the population from the cities, while the other plagues probably drove them from the country into the cities.
The biblical testimony was reread. It became evident that it had not neglected this most conspicuous event: it was the tenth plague.
In the papyrus it is said: "The residence is overturned in a minute." On a previous page it was stressed that only an earthquake could have overturned and ruined the royal residence in a minute. Sudden and simultaneous death could be inflicted on many....
EXODUS 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt: for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
A great part of the people lost their lives in one violent shock. Houses were struck a furious blow.
EXODUS 12:27 [The Angel of the Lord] passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.
The word nogaf for "smote" is used for a violent blow, e.g. for thrusting with his horns by an ox.
The residence of the king and the palaces of the rich were tossed to the ground, and with them the houses of the common people and the dungeons of captives.
EXODUS 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.
PAPYRUS 4:3, and 5:6 Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls.
6:12 Forsooth, the children of princes are cast out in the streets.
PAPYRUS 6:3 The prison is ruined.
2:13 He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere.
To it correspond Exodus 12:30:
... there was not a house where there was not one dead.
In Exodus 12:30 it is written:
... there was a great cry in Egypt.
To it corresponds the papyrus 3:14:
It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations.
The statues of the gods fell and broke in pieces: "this night... against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment" (Exodus 12:12).
A book by Artapanus, no longer extant, which quoted some unknown ancient source and which in its turn was quoted by Eusebius, tells of "hail and earthquake by night [of the last plague], so that those who fled from the earthquake were killed by the hail, and those who sought shelter from the hail were destroyed by the earthquake. And at that time all the houses fell in, and most of the temples."
The earth was equally pitiless towards the dead in their graves: the sepulchers opened, and the buried were disentombed.
PAPYRUS 4:4, also 6:14 Forsooth, those who were in the place of embalmment are laid on the high ground.
Revolt and Flight
The description of disturbances in the Papyrus Ipuwer, when compared with the scriptural narrative, gives a strong impression that both sources relate the very same events. It is therefore only natural to look for mention of revolt among the population, of a flight of wretched slaves from this country visited by disaster, and of a cataclysm in which the pharaoh perished.
Although in the mutilated papyrus there is no explicit reference to the Israelites or their leaders, three facts are clearly described as consequences of the upheaval: the population revolted; the wretched or the poor men fled; the king perished under unusual circumstances....
PAPYRUS 4:2 Forsooth, great and small say: I wish I might die.
5:14f. Would that there might be an end of men, no conception, no birth! Oh, that the earth would cease from noise, and tumult be no more!
The escaped slaves hurried across the border of the country. By day a column of smoke went before them in the sky; by night it was a pillar of fire.
EXODUS 13:21 ... by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.
PAPYRUS 7:1 Behold, the fire has mounted up on high. Its burning goes forth against the enemies of the land.
The translator added this remark: "Here the 'fire' is regarded as something disastrous."
After the first manifestations of the protracted cataclysm the Egyptians tried to bring order into the land. They traced the route of the escaped slaves. The wanderers became "entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in" (Exodus 14:3). They turned to the sea, they stood at Pi-ha-Khiroth. "The Egyptians pursued after them. The Egyptians marched after them." A hurricane blew all the night and the sea fled.
In a great avalanche of water "the sea returned to his strength", and "the Egyptians fled against it". The sea engulfed the chariots and the horsemen, the pharaoh and all his host.
The Papyrus Ipuwer (7:1-2) records only that the pharaoh was lost under unusual circumstances "that have never happened before". The Egyptian wrote his lamentations, and even in the broken lines they are perceptible:
... weep... the earth is... on every side... weep...
Excerpt from Ages in Chaos, by Immanuel Velikovsky (pages 18-31)
(KJV) Luke 21:25 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; 26 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.
Joshua implores sun and moon to stand still
(KJV) Joshua 10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. 12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg
THE SUN OBEYS JOSHUA
The task of protecting the Gibeonites involved in the offensive and defensive alliance made with them, Joshua fulfilled scrupulously. He had hesitated for a moment whether to aid the Gibeonites in their distress, but the words of God sufficed to recall him to his duty. God said to him: "If thou dost not bring near them that are far off, thou wilt remove them that are near by." (37) God granted Joshua peculiar favor in his conflict with the assailants of the Gibeonites. The hot hailstones which, at Moses' intercession, had remained suspended in the air when they were about to fall upon the Egyptians, were now cast down upon the Canaanites. (38) Then happened the great wonder of the sun's standing still, the sixth (39) of the great wonders since the creation of the world.
The battle took place on a Friday. Joshua knew it would pain the people deeply to be compelled to desecrate the holy Sabbath day. Besides, he noticed that the heathen were using sorcery to make the heavenly hosts intercede for them in the fight against the Israelites. He, therefore, pronounced the Name of the Lord, and the sun, moon and stars stood still. (40) The sun at first refused to obey Joshua's behest, seeing that he was older than man by two days. Joshua replied that there was no reason why a free-born youth should refrain from enjoining silence upon an old slave whom he owns, and had not God given heaven and earth to our father Abraham? (41) Nay, more than this, had not the sun himself bowed down like a slave before Joseph? "But," said the sun, "who will praise God if I am silent?" (42) Whereupon Joshua: "Be thou silent, and I will intone a song of praise." (43) And he sang thus:
1. Thou hast done mighty things, O Lord, Thou has performed great deeds. Who is like unto Thee? My lips shall sing unto Thy name.
2. My goodness and my fortress, my refuge, I will sing a new song unto Thee, with thanksgiving I will sing unto Thee, Thou art the strength of my salvation.
3. All the kings of the earth shall praise Thee, the princes of the world shall sing unto Thee, the children of Israel shall rejoice in Thy salvation, they shall sing and praise Thy power.
4. In Thee, O God, did we trust; we said, Thou art our God, for Thou wast our shelter and our strong tower against our enemies.
5. To Thee we cried, and we were not ashamed; in Thee we trusted, and we were delivered; when we cried unto Thee, Thou didst hear our voice, Thou didst deliver our souls from the sword.
6. Thou hast shown unto us Thy mercy, Thou didst give unto us Thy salvation, Thou didst rejoice our hearts with Thy strength.
7. Thou wentest forth for our salvation; with the strength of Thy arm Thou didst redeem Thy people; Thou did console us from the heavens of Thy holiness, Thou didst save us from tens of thousands.
8. Sun and moon stood still in heaven, and Thou didst stand in Thy wrath against our oppressors, and Thou didst execute Thy judgements upon them.
9. All the princes of the earth stood up, the kings of the nations had gathered themselves together, they were not moved at Thy presence, they desired Thy battles.
10. Thou didst rise against them in Thine anger, and Thou didst bring down Thy wrath upon them, Thou didst destroy them in Thy fury, and Thou didst ruin them in Thy rage.
11. Nations raged from fear of Thee, kingdoms tottered because of Thy wrath, Thou didst wound kings in the day of Thine anger.
12. Thou didst pour out Thy fury upon them, Thy wrathful anger took hold of them, Thou didst turn their iniquity upon them, and Thou didst cut them off in their wickedness.
13. They spread a trap, they fell therein, in the net they hid their foot was caught.
14. Thine hand found all Thine enemies, who said, through their sword they possessed the land, through their arm thy dwelt in the city.
15. Thou didst fill their faces with shame, Thou didst bring their horns down to the ground.
16. Thou didst terrify them in Thy wrath, and thou didst destroy them from before Thee.
17. The earth quaked and trembled from the noise of Thy thunder against them; Thou didst not withhold their souls from earth, and Thou didst bring down their lives to the grave.
18. Thou didst pursue them in Thy storm, Thou didst consume them in the whirlwind, Thou didst turn their rain into hail, they fell in floods, so that they could not rise.
19. Their carcasses were like rubbish cast out in the middle of the streets.
20. They were consumed, and they perished before Thee, Thou hast delivered Thy people in Thy might.
21. Therefore our hearts rejoice in Thee, our souls exult in Thy salvation.
22. Our tongues shall relate Thy might, we will sing and praise Thy wondrous works.
23. For Thou didst save us from our enemies, Thou didst deliver us from those who rose up against us, Thou didst destroy them from before us, and depress them beneath our feet.
24. Thus shall all Thine enemies perish, O Lord, and the wicked shall be like chaff driven by the wind, and Thy beloved shall be like trees planted by the waters. (44)
The first 4 volumes of Ginzberg's Legends of the Jews are online but the 5th and 6th volumes that hold the footnotes are not.
( http://philologos.org/__eb-lotj/vol4/p01.htm#THE SUN OBEYS JOSHUA)
38. Berakot 54b; Tan. Wa-Era 16; Ephraem I, 210F. Comp. vol. II, p. 357.
39. PRE 52. On the "seven great miracles," of which the stand-still of the sun is one, see note 272 on vol. I, p. 291.
40. PRE 52, and comp. vol. III, p. 61. Opinions differ as to how long the sun stood still; see 'Abodah Zarah 25a; Targum Hab. 3.11, according to the reading of Mahzor Vitry 171; Shu'aib, Bereshit (end). The miracle took place on a summer's day in the month of Tammuz; comp. Seder 'Olam 11; Aggadat Esther 29.
41. Tan B. III, 68; Tan. Ahare 9; BR 6 (end). Comp. vol III, pp. 18-19. Opinions differ as to what is meant by the "Book of Yashar" of which Joshua spoke on that occasion (Josh 10.13). Gen., Num., Deut., and Jud. are named by one authority or another as the book to which Joshua referred; comp. BR, loc cit.; 'Abodah Zarah 25a; Yerushalmi Sotah 1, 17; Targum 2 Sam 1.18 (here the "Book of Yashar" = Pentateuch); Jerome, Is. 44.2 and Ezek. 18.4. Comp. Ginzberg, Haggada bei den Kirchenv., 39-41.
42. Tan B. III, 68; Tan. Ahare 9; BR 6 (end).
43. Tan. B. III, 68; Tan. Ahare 9. On the conception that the praise of God rendered by the pious might take the place of the song chanted by nature to the glory of God, see DR 11.5, and note 947 on vol. III, p. 471.
44.Yashar Joshua, 135b-136a. As during the war for the defence of the Gibeonites a great miracle was wrought for Joshua, so also later in his war against the united kings of Canaan (see Josh. 11), when the enemies of Israel at the prayer of Joshua "became still as a stone"; Mekilta Shirah 9, 43a. Comp. note 515 on vol. III, p. 269.
Periodic collapses of the firmament
They said; "Once every 1656 years (296) the heavens convulse as He did in the days of the Flood. Come, let us make supports for it. (297)
296 The period that elapsed between Creation and the Flood.
297 Ber. Rab. 38, 6.
(Bereishis, Book 1: Genesis
NOACH - NOTES ON RASHI COMMENTARY)
Sun Stood Still
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 25a
[The same Rabbis also discuss the following:] And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar. What is the book of Jashar? — Said R. Hiyya b. Abba in the name of R. Johanan: It is the book of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,1 who are designated as righteous,2 as it is said, Let me die the death of the righteous:3 And where is this incident hinted at [in Genesis]? — And his seed shall fill the nations:4 When shall [Ephraim's fame] reach the nations? When the sun shall stand still for Joshua. And the sun stayed in the midst of the heaven and hasted not to go down about a whole day.5 How long [is day-time said to have lasted]? — Said R. Joshua b. Levi: Twenty four hours: [The sun] moved for six hours and stood still for six, then it moved for six and stood still for six, then it moved for six and stood still for six; the whole incident equalled a whole day.
R. Eleazar said: Thirty-six hours; it moved for six hours and stood still for twelve, it then moved for six and stood still for twelve so that the halt alone equalled a whole day. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: Forty-eight; it moved for six and stood for twelve, it then moved for six and stood still for twenty-four, for Scripture says, and hasted not to go down about a whole day, which implies that the previous halt did not equal a whole day. Some report that it is the additional hours of daytime which are disputed. R. Joshua b. Levi said: They were twenty-four; it moved for six and stood for twelve, then moved for six and stood for twelve — its halt thus equalled a whole day; while R. Eleazar said: Thirty-six; it moved for six and stood for twelve, then moved for six and stood for twenty-four [which is meant by] and hasted not to go down about a whole day. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: Forty-eight; it moved for six and stood for twenty-four, then moved for six and again stood for twenty-four; the standing still [at noon] equalled that of setting time; as the one at setting time equalled a whole day, so the standing still [in the midst of the heaven] equalled a whole day.
A Tanna taught:6 Just as the sun stood still for Joshua, so did the sun stand still for Moses and for Nakdimon b. Gorion. [As to the case of] Joshua, there are the scriptural verses; [that of] Nakdimon b. Gorion is a tradition;7 whence do we know about Moses? — It may be derived from the identical [expression] I will begin [used in the two cases]. Here is written, I will begin to put the dread of thee,8 and there, referring to Joshua, it is written, I will begin to magnify thee.9 R. Johanan10 said: It may be derived from the use of the identical word teth11 ['put'] [in both cases]. Here is written, I will begin to put the dread of thee,12 and there, concerning Joshua, it is written, In the day when the Lord put the Amorites.13 R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: You can detect it in the very wording of the verse itself, [The peoples that are under the whole heaven] who shall hear the report of thee, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of thee:14 When did they tremble and were in anguish because of Moses? When the sun stood still for him.
The question was asked: [Does not Scripture say in the case of Joshua] And there was no day like that before it or after it?15 [The answer given was,] You may explain this [to mean that] there was none that lasted as long as that one; or, if you wish, you may say it means that there were no hailstones [as in the case of Joshua], of which it is written, And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, while they were in the going down of Beth-Horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azeka and they died.16
FOOTNOTES: (1) I.e., the Book of Genesis.
(2) Josh. X, 13. rah, righteous.
(3) Num. XXIII, 10, which is taken to refer to the peaceful ending of the Patriarchs.
(4) Gen. XLVIII, 19, spoken of Ephraim to whose tribe Joshua belonged.
(5) Josh. ibid. The wording implies a double halt by the sun: (a) in the midst of the heaven, i.e., at noon; (b) hasted not to go down, i.e., towards evening.
(6) V. Ta'an. 20a.
(7) V. Ibid.
(8) Deut. II, 25, referring to Moses.
(9) Josh. III, 7.
(10) In Ta'an. R. Samuel b. Nahmani is given.
(12) Deut. ibid.
(13) Josh. X, 12.
(14) Deut. ibid.
(15) Josh. X, 14.
(16) Ibid. 11.
(The Soncino Talmud CD, Davka Corporation, 1991-1995)
Hail of hot stones
Talmud - Mas. Berachoth 54b
'Hailstones [abne elgabish]'. What are 'abne elgabish'? A Tanna taught: Stones [abanim] which remained suspended for the sake of a man ['al gab ish] and came down for the sake of a man. 'They remained suspended for the sake of a man': this was Moses, of whom it is written, Now the man Moses was very meek,5 and it is also written, And the soldiers and hail ceased, and the rain poured not upon the earth.6 'They came down for the sake of a man': this was Joshua, of whom it is written, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom there is spirit,7 and it is written, And it came to pass as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-Horon, that the Lord cast down great stones.8
(5) Num. XII, 3.
(6) Ex. IX, 33.
(7) Num. XXVII, 18.
(8) Josh. X, 11.
(The Soncino Talmud CD, Davka Corporation, 1991-1995)
Thus did God proceed against the Egyptians. First He cut off their water supply by turning their rivers into blood. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He sent the noisy, croaking frogs into their entrails. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He brought lice against them, which pierced their flesh like darts. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He sent barbarian legions against them, mixed hordes of wild beasts. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He brought slaughter upon them, a very grievous pestilence. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He poured out naphtha over them, burning blains. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He caused His projectiles, the hail, to descend upon them. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He placed scaling-ladders against the wall for the locusts, which climbed them like men of war. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He cast them into dungeon darkness. They refused to let the Israelites go, and He slew their magnates, their first-born sons
(Legends of the Jews,
The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service
Anomalies hint at magnetic pole flip
19:00 10 April 02
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
The Earth's magnetic poles might be starting to flip say researchers who have seen strange anomalies in our planet's magnetic field.
The magnetic field is created by the flow of molten iron inside the Earth's core. These circulation patterns are affected by the planet's rotation, so the field normally aligns with the Earth's axis - forming the north and south poles.
But the way minerals are aligned in ancient rock shows that the planet's magnetic dipole occasionally disappears altogether, leaving a much more complicated field with many poles all over the planet. When the dipole comes back into force, the north and south poles can swap places.
The last reversal happened about 780,000 years ago, over a period of several thousand years. Now Gauthier Hulot from the Institute of Earth Sciences in Paris and his colleagues think they have spotted early signs of another reversal.
South African anomaly
They used data from the Ørsted satellite to study strange variations in the Earth's magnetic field. In particular, one large patch under South Africa is pointing in the opposite direction from the rest of the Earth's field and has been growing for hundreds of years.
The anomalies have already reduced the overall strength of the planet's magnetic field by about 10 per cent. If they continue to grow at the same rate, the Earth's dipole will disappear within just two millennia.
But Ørsted is the first satellite to take a snapshot of the Earth's magnetic field for 20 years, and such scant data makes it difficult to predict future shifts.
"We can't really tell what will happen," says Hulot. "But we speculate that we're in an unusual situation that might be related to a reversal."
Journal reference: Nature (vol 416, p 620)
(What could be headed our way?)
NASA DETECTS ONE OF CLOSEST AND BRIGHTEST GAMMA RAY BURSTS
BBSNews - 2003-04-01 -- The Universe clearly works weekends; delivering one of the brightest and closest gamma ray bursts yet on Saturday, March 29, at 6:37 a.m. EST.
NASA's High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE) detected the burst, signaling the birth of a black hole, in the constellation Leo. For more than 30 seconds, the burst out shone the entire Universe in gamma rays, and its afterglow was still over a trillion times brighter than the sun two hours later. This was the brightest burst yet detected by HETE and is in the top one percent of all bursts in terms of intrinsic brightness. Within seconds, HETE nailed down a location and subsequently relayed the coordinates to the astronomy community, allowing hundreds of scientists and amateur astronomers to join the observation, from Australia to Finland and across the ocean to America. Observations continue to pour in as scientists attempt to unravel what caused the burst. The region is still too bright to determine which galaxy this burst came from.
"This was our biggest one ever, and it didn't get away," said Dr. George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass., and principal investigator for the HETE mission. "With scores of observations now completed and more on the way, we should get a rather clear picture of what triggered this burst."
Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe; likely caused by the death of a massive star, in which the core implodes to form a black hole. Bursts appear to occur randomly, and few last more than a minute, making them hard to study.
HETE detects the fleeting gamma ray and X-ray portions of these bursts, and its prompt localization enables scientists to study the burst afterglow, which can linger from days to weeks in optical light and radio waves. Most bursts originate in the early universe, traveling upwards of 10 billion years at light speed to reach us.
The burst on March 29 was named GRB 030329. Both the burst and its afterglow were brilliant. The burst poured out a thousand trillion, trillion times the gamma rays seen in a solar flare. When measured more than one hour after the burst, the afterglow was still about as bright as a 12th magnitude star. This means it was only about 10 to 100 times dimmer than what can be seen with the naked eye, visible with backyard telescopes. At its peak, the afterglow may have been visible to the naked eye.
The burst originated approximately two billion light years from Earth, which is relatively close. The GRB 030329 redshift measurement was 0.168, making this the second closest burst with a known redshift measurement. (Redshift is a measurement of how light from distant regions of the Universe is "shifted" to lower energy as the Universe expands; the greater the redshift, the greater the distance from Earth.) "Few amateur astronomers are treated to an event that originated billions of light years away," said Ricker.
EARTH'S LITTLE BROTHER FOUND
By Dr David Whitehouse
October 21, 2002
Astronomers have discovered the first object ever that is in a companion orbit to the Earth.
Asteroid 2002 AA29 is only about 100 metres wide and never comes closer than 3.6 million miles to our planet.
But it shares the Earth's orbit around the Sun, at first on one side of the Earth and then escaping to travel along our planet's path around the Sun until it encounters the Earth from the other side. Then it goes back again.
Researchers are speculating that 2002 AA29 could be visited by astronauts or used to understand the threat to our planet posed by such rocks from space.
2002 AA29 was discovered by the linear automated sky survey project on 9 January 2002.
Martin Connors of Athabaseca University in Canada writes in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science that it, "moves in a very Earth-like orbit," and is the "first true co-orbital object of Earth."
General Simon Worden of the United States Space Command described it as a "near Earth object that is close to being trapped by the Earth as a second natural satellite".
According to Helena Morais of the University of Lisbon and Allesandro Morbidelli of the University of Nice, writing in a paper to be published in the journal, Icarus: "2002 AA29 seems to be in a temporary horseshoe-like orbit with the Earth."
This puts 2002 AA29 is in the same class as 3753 Cruithne, a similar rocky body in a horseshoe orbit around the Earth.
But astronomers classify 2002 AA29 as the first real co-orbital body found associated with the Earth because it more completely shares the Earth's path around the Sun.
Co-orbiting asteroids have been found around other planets.
Over 1,200 so called "Trojans" have been found moving either ahead or behind Jupiter.
Eight such objects have been found associated with Mars.
But despite detailed searches no one has yet found any Trojan objects near the Earth.
It is clear that 2002 AA29 was discovered by accident at a time when it was at one end of its horseshoe orbit and, being at its closest to the Earth, was bright enough to be detected in an automated sky survey.
Detailed observations of its trajectory through space show that 2002 AA29 will reach its minimum close approach to the Earth -- 12 times the distance between Earth and the Moon -- at 1900 GMT on 8 January 2003.
Thereafter it will travel ahead of the Earth moving faster than our planet does, until after 95 years it will catch up with the other side of the Earth and then reverse its motion.
Analysis of 2002 AA29's motions have revealed a remarkable event that happens to it every few thousand years.
In 550AD, and again in 2600AD and 3880AD, for a while it will become a true satellite of our planet, in effect Earth's second moon, although technically it will remain under the gravitational control of the Sun.
It remains a second moon to Earth for about 50 years until it escapes.
Although only about 100 metres across 2002 AA29 may play a role in the manned exploration of space out of all proportion to its size.
Already researchers are speculating that it could be visited by an unmanned spaceprobe or even become the first object after the Moon to be stepped on by astronauts.
The object could tell us a lot about the composition of asteroids.
Some have speculated that it could be nudged into a permanent Earth orbit where it could be studied at greater length.
EARTH'S NEW 'MOON' IS SPACE JUNK
By Dr David Whitehouse
Thursday, 12 September, 2002
So, it looks like Earth does not have a new "moon" after all.
The latest analysis of the mysterious object called J002E3 suggests it could well be a leftover Saturn V rocket component from one of the Apollo lunar missions.
The suspicious, fast-moving object was discovered on 3 September by Bill Yeung from his observatory in Arizona, US. Initial orbit calculations indicated that it was only about twice as far away as the Moon, and in orbit around the Earth.
At first, astronomers were not sure whether the object was a passing chunk of rock that was captured by the Earth's gravity, or a piece of space junk.
Now the mystery may have been solved thanks to a retrospective analysis of its movement through space. The object is most likely from the Apollo 12 mission, launched on 14 November 1969.
Returned to sender
It seems that the object was in orbit around the Sun until April of this year when it was captured by the Earth's gravity. The capture occurred when the object passed near the Earth's L1 Lagrange point, a region of space where the gravity of the Earth and Sun approximately cancel.
J002E3 is the first known case of an object being captured by the Earth, although Jupiter has been known to capture comets in the same way.
The most recent analysis of J002E3's pre-capture orbit about the Sun shows that it was always inside the Earth's orbit, and that it may have come within the Earth's vicinity in the early 1970s or late 1960s.
This suggests that J002E3 was very likely orbiting the Earth during this period before escaping into solar orbit.
Experts say that it is likely that this object is one of the Apollo Saturn rocket's third stages. The brightness of J002E3 seems to match the expected brightness of such a component.
Analysis of J002E3's orbit suggests that there is a chance of it impacting the Moon in 2003, and an outside possibility of it burning up in the Earth's atmosphere sometime in the next decade or so.
INTERPLANETARY SUPERHIGHWAY MAKES SPACE TRAVEL SIMPLER
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Martha J. Heil
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
A "freeway" through the solar system resembling a vast array of virtual winding tunnels and conduits around the Sun and planets, discovered by an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., can slash the amount of fuel needed for future space missions.
Called the Interplanetary Superhighway, the system was calculated by Martin Lo, who used his theory to design the flight path for NASA's Genesis mission, which is currently using this "freeway in space" on its mission to collect solar wind particles for return to Earth.
Most missions are designed to take advantage of the way gravity pulls on a spacecraft when it swings by a body such as a planet or moon. Lo's theory mixes in another factor, the Sun's pull on the planets or a planet's pull on its nearby moons. Forces from many directions nearly cancel each other out, leaving paths through the gravity fields in which spacecraft can travel.
Each planet and moon has five locations in space called Lagrange points, where one body's gravity balances another's. Spacecraft can orbit there while burning very little fuel. To find the Interplanetary Superhighway, Lo mapped all the possible flight paths among the Lagrange points, varying the distance the spacecraft would go and how fast or slow it would travel. Like threads twisted together to form a rope, the possible flight paths formed tubes in space. Lo plans to map out these tubes for the whole solar system.
Lo has turned the theory of the Interplanetary Superhighway into a tool for mission design called "LTool," using models developed at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. The new LTool designed the flight path for the Genesis mission, the first space mission to use the theory of the Interplanetary Superhighway. Genesis launched in August 2001.
The flight path was designed for the spacecraft to leave Earth and travel to orbit the Lagrange point. After five loops around this Lagrange point, the spacecraft will fall out of orbit without any maneuvers and then loop around Earth to a Lagrange point on the opposite side of the planet. Finally, it will return to Earth's upper atmosphere to drop off its samples of solar wind in the Utah desert, at the Air Force's Utah Testing and Training Range.
"Genesis wouldn't need to use any fuel at all in a perfect world," Lo said. "But since we can't control the many variables that occur throughout the mission, we have to make some corrections as Genesis completes its loops around a Lagrange point of Earth. The savings on the fuel translates into a better and cheaper mission."
"It has been exciting and challenging to develop this field. Our work on the Genesis mission is definitely a high point," said Kathleen Howell, co-creator of LTool, and a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue. "The theory has been known for some time, but this is the first time it has been applied to a space mission."
"For all missions going to a Lagrange point, LTool will speed up computations," Lo said. "Designing the Genesis spacecraft's flight path with traditional methods used to take eight weeks, but now we can design a new flight path in less than a day -- we have redesigned a whole mission in a week."
Lo envisions a place to construct and service science platforms around one of the Moon's Lagrange points. Since the Lagrange points are landmarks for the Interplanetary Superhighway, spacecraft could easily be shunted to and from the station for repair. A team at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, working with the NASA Exploration Team (NEXT), proposes to someday use the Interplanetary Superhighway for future human space missions.
"Lo's work has led to breakthroughs in simplifying mission concepts for human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit," said Doug Cooke, manager of the Advanced Development office at Johnson. "These simplifications result in fewer space vehicles needed for a broad range of mission options."
Lo's and Howell's work on the Interplanetary Superhighway for space mission design was nominated for an annual Discover Innovation Award by Discover magazine editors and an outside panel of experts.
Spacecraft are not the only users of the Interplanetary Superhighway: asteroids and comets are known to travel on it. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter when it took an off-ramp toward the giant gas planet. Scientists think the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs could have followed Genesis' flight path -- an iridium deposit at the crash site shows the asteroid traveled fairly slowly. Just what we might expect from an asteroid on the Interplanetary Superhighway, Lo said.
January 22, 2002
Meteor clue to end of Middle East civilisations
By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
SCIENTISTS have found the first evidence that a devastating meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago.
Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs.
Today's crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding.
The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.
They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land.
Until now, archaeologists have put forward a host of separate explanations for these events, from local wars to environmental changes. Recently, some astronomers have suggested that meteor impacts could explain such historical mysteries.
The crater's faint outline was found by Dr Sharad Master, a geologist at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on satellite images of the Al 'Amarah region, about 10 miles north-west of the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates and home of the Marsh Arabs.
"It was a purely accidental discovery," Dr Master told The Telegraph last week. "I was reading a magazine article about the canal-building projects of Saddam Hussein, and there was a photograph showing lots of formations - one of which was very, very circular."
Detailed analysis of other satellite images taken since the mid-1980s showed that for many years the crater contained a small lake.
The draining of the region, as part of Saddam's campaign against the Marsh Arabs, has since caused the lake to recede, revealing a ring-like ridge inside the larger bowl-like depression - a classic feature of meteor impact craters.
The crater also appears to be, in geological terms, very recent. Dr Master said: "The sediments in this region are very young, so whatever caused the crater-like structure, it must have happened within the past 6,000 years."
Reporting his finding in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Dr Master suggests that a recent meteor impact is the most plausible explanation for the structure.
A survey of the crater itself could reveal tell-tale melted rock. "If we could find fragments of impact glass, we could date them using radioactive dating techniques," he said.
A date of around 2300 BC for the impact may also cast new light on the legend of Gilgamesh, dating from the same period. The legend talks of "the Seven Judges of Hell", who raised their torches, lighting the land with flame, and a storm that turned day into night, "smashed the land like a cup", and flooded the area.
The discovery of the crater has sparked great interest among scientists.
Dr Benny Peiser, who lectures on the effects of meteor impacts at John Moores University, Liverpool, said it was one of the most significant discoveries in recent years and would corroborate research he and others have done.
He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time.
(http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml%3B$sessionid$41ZD1XYAAA5OLQFIQ MGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2001/11/04/wmet04.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/11/04/ix homef.html%5C)
1. I got my paperback copy of Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision" about ten years ago in a second-hand bookstore and I paid 50 cents for it. Nowadays it's well-nigh impossible to find any books by him, never mind in this price range. Amazon had some reissued works but they were sold out immediately and seem to be completely out-of-stock at this time. Making inquiries at second-hand bookstores brings the price of between $100-200 for a hardcover edition. Seeing it is so hard to find a copy I would recommend the following instead: Cataclysm : Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B. C. by D. S. Allan, J. B. Delair. My review of the book:This book is absolutely chock full of scientific evidence that helps explain the earthly changes forecast in the book of Revelation. All the natural phenomena related in the last book of the Bible finds its counterpart in the ancient earthly record and is a matter of "been there, done that" as far as the earth is concerned. You can't explain away the residual evidence of a cataclysmic event in the past so it's not too far-fetched to imagine it happening again. The most unbelievable aspect of this research is that more people have not been exposed to it. I would like to type all of the book "Worlds in Collision" and put it with the rest of the ebooks on the website but I know that would be a huge copyright violation. If anyone knows of how to get permission to do this, please email me.
3. Velikovsky: Bonds of the Past 1972 movie by Henry Zemel.
5. Do a Google search with the words "catastrophism" and "velikovsky" which will give you more than enough reading material on this subject.
6. Do a Google search with the words "planet x" as your query.
7. Listen to http://www.jmccanneyscience.com/ radio program on Planet X. A few things to consider: he seems to have a huge chip on his shoulder and is having a war with NASA which he spends a lot of time talking about; his philosophy of life does not seem to include the Bible—seems to be a humanist who thinks people can change the world; he believes the Heaven's Gate people were murdered; secular commentary. I have his book "Planet-X, Comets & Earth Changes" but the jury is still out.
8. Please see Hail, Hale-Bopp!.
9. Books online by Donald W. Patten on catastrophism:
The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch
The Mars-Earth Wars
Catastrophism and the Old Testament (The Mars-Earth Conflicts)
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