Honoring Our Creator & Defending a Created Universe
Vol. 24, No. 01
“And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the Sun and the Moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”Deuteronomy 4:19, ESV
Welcome to Fourth Day Gazette 82 (FDG-82), the 24th Anniversary edition. Watching the “outer creation” with a telescope is my brief definition of astronomy. Many people think astrology and astronomy are the same thing. The scripture above clearly separates worshiping from watching. Practicing the horoscope is a modern violation of that scripture and is a branch of idolatry. FDG-12 Dec. 1998 provided a thorough challenge to astrology verses astronomy. (Note: to access past issues of the Fourth Day Gazette (FDG), email email@example.com).
Venus the Evening Star
Venus the Evening Star shines bright in the west sky until summer 2020. That is an unusual pattern for a planet which normally crosses the night sky in a period of six months. The diagram shows how the second planet from the Sun moves around the west sky. It indicates size and brightness but is exaggerated in scale. If we were closer to Venus to match the view we would be toast, literally. Start your watch at dusk looking southwest (about 15-30 minutes after sunset) on a clear evening sky. You cannot mistake Venus since it is the brightest object other than the Moon and Sun. Notice that it slowly winds around and is farthest left of the sunset in January and February. Venus crosses the ecliptic plane (dotted line) into the northern hemisphere. It slowly moves toward the Sun by June. Seasons are changing as the sunrise begins earlier and the sunset begins later.
You are watching the planet that is almost as large as Earth but was created 25 million miles closer to the Sun than we are. Yes it is very, very hot there. We can see phases of Venus that similar to those of our Moon, as the diagram illustrates. Venus grows much brighter from March to May as it approaches the sunset. Venus reaches maximum brightness passing between Earth and the Sun as a crescent shape, seen through even a small (2 inch or 50 mm diameter) telescope! WARNING: Do not follow Venus to the Sun because that is dangerous to your eyesight!
The Hand of God
Watching any planet allows you to discover our Creator’s handiwork. We use the planets and stars to mark seasons as they cross our night sky; plus, between sunset and sunrise we can define night time. They do cross the day sky but we cannot see them normally. That big bright light (Sun) outshines the darkness and illuminates our daytime. During a Total Solar Eclipse it can become dark enough to see stars and planets for up to ten minutes. The other big object defines our months. We call it the Moon.
“Yours is the day, Yours also the night;Psalm 74:16-17, ESV
You have established the heavenly lights and the Sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.”
Constellation Orion shines until April as it crosses our night sky. The hourglass-sevenstars are a winter constellation. Three belt stars mark the equatorial plane of Earth. Two top stars mark the north end and two more the lower south end.
Noah’s Flood on North America
Thanks to Dan A. Biddle, Ph. D., and Genesis Apologetics for their documentary video on Noah’s Flood:
Overhead we have busy night skies.
On March 9, April 7, May 7, and June 5 we can enjoy Big Bright Full Moons. They occur at or near Perigee when the Moon is closest to Earth.
There will be six (count them!) eclipses in 2020. Four of them (the ones in January 10, June 5, June 21, and December 14) are not visible in the continental USA. Two late night lunar eclipses are July 4 and November 29 which are penumbral or involve the dim shadow only. So we cannot enjoy any of the eclipses this year. Readers on the rest of God’s Globe can see the top four eclipses. Timing and our location determines how many of us see them!
However, 2021 and 22 will begin another set (those terrible tetrads) of four total lunar eclipses.
Jupiter and Saturn
Planets Jupiter and Saturn will shine best from June to December as they move closer together for a grand conjunction on December 20-22, 2020.
Planet Mars will cross our sky again. It will be biggest and brightest in September 2020 and the best we shall see until September 2035!
You early risers can see three planets an hour before sunrise. Look southeast for Mars, Saturn and Jupiter lined up. They are closest together in March and April.
March and April brings seasonal change and festivals. The annual vernal equinox or Spring begins early on Thursday March 19. Notice that sunrise and sunset occur directly east and west. Afterwards, days will become longer and nights will become shorter.
Passover & Easter
The Full Pink Moon on Tuesday April 7, is not only the biggest and brightest, but will also begin a historical festival at sunset which began according to Exodus Chapter 12 about 3470 years ago! Modern Israelites and Christians celebrate Passover, which is a festival of deliverance and sacrifice.
While naturalistic cultures await an extraterrestrial to visit Earth, the scriptures record a visitor known as Emmanuel (one reason for modern Christmas). All four biblical Gospels record His arrival and departure and a 33 year period of historical monumental proportions!
Then the unbelievable occurred when Emmanuel fulfilled the Exodus Passover on a Friday of Crucifixion. Our Messiah, Christ Jesus (the Anointed One) gave up His spirit (died) and then rose again (was resurrected) three days later. Modern sanctimonious terminology is “Good Friday” and “Easter.” Forty days later, He left Earth and returned to Heaven-above, in front of witnesses according to Acts Chapter 1.
Which Is More Unbelievable?
So this writer asks, which is more unbelievable: Our Creator produced all reality, or millions and billions of years of evolution from atoms and humans, for what? A clue: when America was discovered, most explorers acknowledged our Creator and Nature as His handiwork.
Ernie & Ruth Poani
At your service with telescopes and sky. Sign up for our mailing list, request a back issue, or send a copy to a friend. Contact (217) 361-6374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.