Get ready to do some serious skygazing in 2019. Most people don’t see and experience the most exciting astronomical events not because they don’t care, but because they don’t make a plan. So here’s some advance warning. 2019 will start with a rare ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ eclipse, but it’s only the first of many incredible stargazing events in 2019. From eclipses and comets to supermoons and a Transit of Mercury, here’s exactly when, where and why to look up at the night sky during January 20/21, 2019.
What a way to start a year of spectacular celestial sights. With Earth between the Sun and Moon, our satellite in its ‘full’ phase will turn a gorgeous red-orange-copper color for an hour or so during this Total Lunar Eclipse. Totality is at 9:12 p.m. PST on January 20 and 00:12 a.m. EST on January 21 from North America, but do look for the change from partial eclipse to total eclipse over the preceding hour or so. The event goes into reverse afterward. It’s visible on the night-side of Earth, which includes South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic Ocean, and extreme western Europe. It’s also a Supermoon (when the moon is closer to Earth than average, so appears slightly larger), and the last Total Lunar Eclipse visible from the U.S. until May 2021, so enjoy it while you can.
But eclipses in the ancient (and not so ancient) past often terrified onlookers, who viewed them as evil omens. Sometimes they were used as benchmarks to date historical events, and one eclipse helped to better understand a now well-known concept of meteorology.
All of creation is showing the dramatic entrance of this period. The weather is changing due to the plasmatic electromagnetic connection between the planets. We experience unusual weather, storms, volcanism and seismic activity. Superquakes can be expected at the level of 9.8 and greater beginning in the fall of this year.
Insiders are now contracting the building out of geodesic dome homes which can withstand hurricane-force winds.
Supervolcanoes exist, such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii. When this breaks off, it will create a supertsunami that will head toward Japan, the East Coast of the U.S. and South America at the speed of Mach 1–740 mph. There are also volcanic islands in the Azores that could break off and send a tsunami of water to the East Coast of the U.S.
The eclipse is supposed to have happened before Passover, so it would seem logical that we must search for an eclipse of the moon before the end of March, some have theorized (though Passover can also start in April). From lists of eclipses there is one that occurred on March 13, 4 B.C., and many have cited that the birth of Christ must have preceded that time. But this eclipse occurred at 5:40 a.m. local time in Jerusalem and was only 36 percent partial. Would this eclipse have been a good benchmark for Josephus?
Perhaps Josephus was referring to a more dramatic event. In the after-midnight hours of Jan. 10, 1 B.C. there was a total eclipse of the moon. Totality was unusually long, lasting 1 hour and 39 minutes, and was widely visible throughout the Old World. In the December 1943 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, Roy K. Marshall writes: “This eclipse is much more likely to have been observed. It is only a couple of months earlier in the year than the observance of Passover. Why could not the death of Herod have occurred in 1 B.C.?”
To this day, attempts to date the death of King Herod continue to be rather contentious. Other researchers point toward other lunar eclipses to support their hypotheses.
What do we know about King Herod historically? Herod the Great known in the Bible as the monster who ordered the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem, is a well-known figure in ancient historical records.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
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