COMET PANSTARR C2010 L4  MARCH 13-15 2013




Bring binoculars to pick the comet out of the twilight low in the west. (Don't expect it to look as obvious as this!)

Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon.

Earth's Moon and the Planet Saturn

In my research while looking for signs in the Sun, the Moon and the Stars using StarryNight software I came across something very interesting, I heard the Holy Spirit say "follow the moon". Now this probably does not make much sense to you but it did to me. When using this software you can centre (center) on a particular body, such as the moon, the sun, or any planet or star you wish, then you can watch what happens as time is sped either forward or in reverse. That is how I located what I am about to reveal.

The moon revolves arround the Earth every 29.4 days (12 times each year). It takes Saturn 29.4  earth years to complete one rotation around the Sun. Now it's no big deal that the moon's conjunction with the planet Saturn each time the moon circles the earth, but what is significant  is the dates that it falls on when that conjuction occurs.

This year, 2 days before Passover April 7 2009 this occured.  It also accured exactly on Pentacost 5/31/2009.  It will again  happen on  just prior to Rosh Hoshanah, September 18th 2009 as you have already seen.

This is an important one. I went back to check the date of  May 15, 1948, the day Israel became a Nation,  the Moon and  Saturn were in conjunction on that very same day.

Here are some more future dates or may I say divine appointments that this will occur:

5/31/2009SUN 31 MAY 2009             PENTACOST
Sat. 19 September 2009    Rosh HaShanah


 Sun  May 23 2010           Pentacost
Thu.  9 September 2010    Rosh HaShanah

5/19/2011Tue. 19 April 2011            PASSOVER
9/28/2011Thu. 29 September 2011   Rosh HaShanah
12/22/2011Wed. 21 December 2011   Chanukah
4/7/2012Sat.  7 April 2012              PASSOVER
9/18/2012Mon. 17 September 2012   Rosh HaShanah
12/10/2012Sun.  9 December 2012     Chanukah





More facts:

The Moon circles the Earth every 29.43 days at a speed of about one kilometer per second (2,300 mph). The average distance from the Moon to the Earth is 384,401 kilometers (238,857 mi). The moon has a slightly elliptical orbit, approximately 356,000 kilometers (221,600 miles) distant at perigee and 406,997 kilometers (252,950 miles) at apogee.

Saturn revolves or orbits around the sun once every 29.4 Earth years, or once every 10,755.7 Earth days. Saturn travels at an average speed of 21,637 miles per hour or 34,821 kilometers per hour in its orbit around the sun. The average orbital distance of Saturn from the Sun (its semi-major axial radius) is 1,433,449,370 km or 890.7 million miles.

Mercury completes one orbit of the sun every 88 days. Average Orbital Speed of Mercury is 47.8km/s. Mercury's orbit is severely elliptical meaning that the planet's distance to the Sun varies. At its closest, Mercury is 46 million kilometers (28.5 million miles or 0.31 AU) from the Sun, and at its farthest it is nearly 70 million kilometers (43 million miles or 0.46 AU) from the Sun. The mean distance is 58 million kilometers (36 million miles).

Earth orbits the Sun every 365.256366 days, or 1.0000175 years.  Average orbital speed of Earth is 29.77 km/s. The average distance between the Sun and the Earth is about 149 million kilometers or 93 million miles. Light from the Sun takes about 8.32 minutes on average to reach Earth, so that means that the Sun is 8.32 light-minutes from Earth. The Earth is 1 A.U. (Astronomical Unit) from the Sun, defined as 92.8 million miles or 149.6 million kilometers. The minimum distance (perihelion) is 146 million km (91 million miles. The maximum distance (aphelion) is 152 million km (94.5 million miles)

COMETS - 2009 is a fairly good year with three comets likely to come within binocular range. There are several other comets that should be within visual range for larger telescopes and many more for the CCD observers. In 2010 several comets will be visible. The highlight is the return of 103P/Hartley, which makes a close approach to the Earth and could reach naked eye brightness. 81P/Wild should become visible in binoculars at around 9th magnitude, whilst 2P/Encke reaches 4th magnitude as it passes through the SOHO or STEREO fields.


Bull’s-eye Blood Moon

Celestial Events corresponding to history and the Bull’s-eye Blood Moon.

All lunar eclipses are not the same,

-          Some of them are total eclipses that turn the entire moon blood red.

-          Some of them are central lunar eclipses, like hitting the “bull’s-eye” of a dartboard.

-          Some of them are visible from certain areas of the earth i.e. Jerusalem.

-          Some total eclipses fall in patterns of two, three or four.

-          A set of four total lunar eclipses in a row is referred to as a Tetrad.

-          Some of them correspond with Jewish Holidays described in the Bible.

Applying the Jewish Feasts as described in the Bible as a sort of filter for these celestial events, there is a remarkable correlation between these lunar eclipses and historic events regarding the Nation of Israel.


For example, there are three Tetrads falling within a current 66 year period that all occur on Jewish holidays. This is the last such sequence for over three hundred years. There have been 33 central “bulls-eye” lunar eclipses in the past century, 18 of them fall on Jewish holidays, 6 on high holidays and only one is within a Jewish Tetrad. That one is Passover, Apr 13 1949 which is also the first eclipse of the Jewish Tetrad coincident with the beginning of the Jewish Nation of Israel.


The last Jewish Tetrad happens to be bracketed perfectly by two central lunar eclipses which naturally define both a seven year period according to Daniel 9 and a seventy year period according to Luke 21:32, and Psalms 90:10.


And as a final note ALL of the eclipses that fall on high holidays, happen to be visible from Jerusalem.


So here is the history…


May 15th 1948: The State of Israel is declared beginning a war with six Arab armies.


Jewish Tetrad:   1949 - 1950

1949 Apr 13, Passover “Bull’s-eye Blood Moon”,  // 1949 Oct 07, Tabernacles //1950 Apr 02, Passover //1950 Sep 26, Tabernacles


April 3rd –July 20th 1949: The armistice is signed, Israel doubles their landmass.


Jewish Tetrad:   1967 - 1968

1967 Apr 24, Passover-- 1967 Oct 18, Tabernacles -- 1968 Apr 13, Passover --1968 Oct 06, Tabernacles


7 June 1967: Jerusalem captured in the six day war.


And future events…


2011 June 15th, central lunar eclipse, “Bull’s-eye Blood Moon”, directly in line with Jerusalem.


Jewish Tetrad:   2014 - 2015

2014 Apr 15, Passover -- 2014 Oct 08, Tabernacles -- 2015 Apr 04, Passover -- 2015 Sep 28, Tabernacles


2018 July 27th Tu B’Av, central lunar eclipse, “Bull’s-eye Blood Moon”, directly in line with Jerusalem.


Time line (Luke 21:32, Psalms 90:10, Dan 9)

1948 + 70 years = 2018
1968 + 50 years = 2018
2011 + 7 years =2018



The plan for the Palestinian State


After the 1967 Six Day War several Israeli leaders argued against turning the armistice lines into permanent borders on the grounds of Israeli security:


Prime Minister Golda Meir said the pre-1967 borders were so dangerous that it "would be treasonable" for an Israeli leader to accept them.


The Foreign Minister Abba Eban said the pre-1967 borders have "a memory of Auschwitz".


Prime Minister Menachem Begin described a proposal for a retreat to the pre-1967 borders as "national suicide for Israel."


The US, PA, UN, EU, Arab league, and Vatican have ALL declared support for a two-state solution to “The Palestinian Problem”, with the declaration of statehood defined by the pre-1967 borders, this is expected to happen by August 2011.

The last two Jewish Tetrads marked significant events concerning Israel. Will the last one define the final seven year period before Messiah returns? If so it was written in the heavens at creation and in the Bible for over two thousand years.

2011 June 15th, central lunar eclipse, “Bull’s-eye Blood Moon”, directly in line with Jerusalem.


Jewish Tetrad:   2014 - 2015

2014 Apr 15, Passover -- 2014 Oct 08, Tabernacles -- 2015 Apr 04, Passover -- 2015 Sep 28, Tabernacles


2018 July 27th Tu B’Av, central lunar eclipse, “Bull’s-eye Blood Moon”, directly in line with Jerusalem.

Time line (Daniel 9)

June 2011 + (2520 Days + 30 Days + 45 Days) = July 2018

I am not saying anything will happen, what I am saying is you won’t have too long to wait to find out, watch for yourself.
Keep looking up! Luke 21
Jacob’s trouble…                     

Mike Wellman, [email protected]                                                                 21 Jan 2011

Historic events concerning the State of Israel have coincided with patterns of sequential lunar eclipses on Jewish High Holidays, for example...

































Israel becomes a state































Six Day War, Jerusalem Liberated!!


























 The next 18 lunar eclipses beginning June 2011 also contain just such a pattern at the very center.

 ·         Eclipses may be grouped by sequences of 177 day repetitions

·         There are three distinct groupings each one overlapping the next by a month.

·         There are 10 total lunar eclipses in the next 12 years.

·         There are only two rare central lunar eclipses during the next 12 years.

·         These two eclipses both occur directly in line with Jerusalem.

      ·         The number of days separating these two eclipses very closely matches Daniels Prophecy concerning the State of Israel;

           the difference allowing for the timing of the eclipses is three days.

Lunar Eclipses and the Jewish Calendar


15 Tamuz

2009 July 07




14 Tevet

2009 Dec 31




14 Tamuz

2010 June 26




14 Tevet

2010 Dec 21 Total




13 Sivan

2011 June 15 Central




15 Kislev

2011 Dec 10 Total




14 Sivan

2012 June 04




15 Kislev

2012 Nov 28



*10/22/2011 H-Rabbah

15 Sivan

2013 May 25














15th Iyyar

2013 Apr 25




14 Cheshvan

2013 Oct 18





2014 Apr 15 Total





2014 Oct 08 Total





2015 Apr 04 Total



*4/4/2015 Passover


2015 Sep 28 Total





2016 Mar 23





2016 Sep 16














Tu B'Av

2016 Aug 18




Tu Bishvat

2017 Feb 11




Tu B'Av

2017 Aug 07




Tu Bishvat

2018 Jan 31 Total




Tu B'Av

2018 Jul 27 Central



*Mars at opposition >Petra

Tu Bishvat

2019 Jan 21 Total



*Jupiter/Venus Conjunct

13 Tammuz

2019 Jul 16




13 Tevet

2020 Jan 10




13 Tammuz

2020 Jul 05





Total Days



*Dan 9: 2520+30+45= 2595

Sets of eclipses repeat approximately every 177 days and 4 hours at alternating nodes of the moon's orbit.

 ** Calendar adjusted using the Karite method of noticing the new moon nearest the vernal equinox as 1 Abib.

 Relevant Timeline (Prophetic 360 day calendar)

Using the same calculation of the prophetic year as Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918) in his book

“The Coming Prince”, http://philologos.org/__eb-tcp/   …

Daniels prophecy of weeks






14 March 445 BC

I Nissan

Order to Rebuild


1 Solar Year



476 Solar Years



 +24 Days 14 Mar - 6 Apr






69 Prophetic "Weeks"



10 Nissan

Triumphal Entry

And then considering the major event closest to the central eclipse of 13 April 1949 was the UN recognition of the State of Israel less than a month later.

Israel’s Seventy Years          70 Years (70*360) 25200 days

5/11/1949        UN recognition of the State of Israel


5/9/2018          one prophetic generation

   +30 +45               Daniel 9 added days

7/23/2018        9th of Av 2018                                               

63 Years (63*360) 22680 (the beginning of the last seven)

5/11/1949        UN recognition of the State of Israel


6/15/2011       Central Lunar Eclipse

It again leads to the start date of the eclipse sequence!!!

June/July 2011: Three eclipses (Two Solar One Lunar) within 30 days

June 1st Solar Eclipse, first of set 2011-2014, 28 Iyar 5771


June 7th (at sunset) Pentecost and Jerusalem Day; 44th Anniversary of June 7th 1967

 June 15th Lunar Eclipse

It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the center of the Earth's shadow. The next central total lunar eclipse will be seven years later on July 27, 2018. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2011_lunar_eclipse



COMET 3200 Phaethon / Geminids Meteor Shower

Geminids Meteor Shower are pieces of debris from a extinct COMET 3200 Phaethon. From what I can tell is that Earth is moving straight into the path of the debris field beginning Dec 6th 2009 thru Dec 17th  and peaking Dec 13 & 14, 2009. 
Infomation and links for Geminids Meteor Shower:

Geminids are pieces of debris from a strange object called 3200 Phaethon. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet. It is, basically, the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun. Earth runs into a stream of debris from 3200 Phaethon every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the constellation Gemini.


According to Cooke, Phaethon probably looked much like other comets many centuries ago, with a fuzzy head and a glowing dusty tail. But this one was doomed to rapid extinction by its short-period sungrazing orbit. Every one and a half years Phaethon plunges sunward from the asteroid belt and swings by the Sun at a distance of 0.14 astronomical units -- closer even than the planet Mercury. Such near encounters with the Sun would have cooked Phaethon, vaporizing its ices and leaving behind a shell of asteroid-like dust and rock.

Orbit Diagram http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=Phaethon;orb=1

Phaethon in Greek Mythology 

The story of the legendary character Phaethon is a favorite in Greek mythology. It is a tale of a young man who is driven to prove himself, regardless of the consequences. And for this reason, Phaethon's legend is still meaningful to us even today.
According to myth, Phaethon was the son of Helios, the god of the Sun, and Clymene. It was not until Phaethon reached a certain age, however, that he learned that his father was indeed the Sun-god. When he realized who - and what - his father was, Phaethon decided to meet Helios. He therefore went on a journey to the East, where he found his father's grand palace.
Phaethon was exuberant. He father was an important and influential god, and the boy was no doubt awed by the power that Helios wielded. So Phaethon did something rash - he asked his father for a favor. Helios, thrilled at meeting his young son, immediately agreed, without even knowing what the boy would ask. However, this fatherly attempt at affection was to have unfortunate consequences. For Phaethon wanted to drive the Sun-god's chariot across the sky. Knowing the folly of the request, but unable to take back his gift, Helios was forced to comply.
So the young man joyfully leapt into the chariot. As soon as Phaethon took hold of the reins, however, it was clear that he could not control the powerful horses. Indeed, the immortal horses were much too strong for Phaethon, and they dragged both the chariot and the boy across the sky, causing destruction wherever they went. When the chariot got too close to the earth, the very ground was burned.
Zeus quickly realized that this was a dangerous situation. So the ruler of the Greek gods threw a thunderbolt directly at Phaethon. The young man was killed instantly, his body landing in the Eridanus river. There Phaethon was mourned by his sisters. The legend is that Phaethon's weeping sisters were eventually transformed into trees, their tears turning into amber. http://www.loggia.com/myth/phaethon.html

"The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter." Revelation 8:11


Isaiah 24 Judgment on the Earth

20The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.
    21So it will happen in that day, That the LORD will punish the host of heaven on high, And the kings of the earth on earth.  22They will be gathered together Like prisoners in the dungeon, And will be confined in prison;
And after many days they will be punished.
    23Then the moon will be abashed (change the cycle) and the sun ashamed, ...

Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matthew 24:22

DSL Video

PROPHECY IN THE NEWS - 2012: wtih Mark Hitchcock
DSL Video

This is the layout of the eclipses discovered by Mark Biltz.

The following is from his webpage.

The sabbatical year 5775 starts on 9/25/14 and runs to 9/13/15. Obviously some of the eclipses are before and after the sabbatical year; the first and last total lunar eclipses are “outside of and bookend” the sabbatical year. I have never stated all the eclipses were in the sabbatical year.

I also never said there was a blood red moon that was part of a tetrad in 1948. I said it was in 1949 and 1950. In regards to whether or not the eclipses were viewable in Israel, we have to realize the signs are for the nations,
all of them. Maybe having them seen in different parts of the world is so that no one is left with an excuse. I’m sure if they were only seen in Israel someone would say then it doesn’t pertain to the nations!

    Lu 21:24-28 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 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, thenlook up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Regarding knowing "the day or the hour" scenario. I do not set dates and will not set dates.  Closely looking at a span of roughly 530 days is not date setting. First I would like to ask, what do you think this verse refers to in the many events that will unfold during the tribulation? Does it refer to the day the tribulation begins, or when the antichrist is revealed or when Messiah's feet land on the Mt of Olives, or the rapture and on and on?  Does this verse require us to put blinders on?  I do know that the biblical holidays are the exact days when certain events have happened (the Passover lamb, Messiah is the First Fruits, Shavuot or Feast of Weeks is Pentecost) and will happen; but through every year's cycle of feasts, we don't know if it is a rehearsal or if it will be the real thing.

Why would he give us this forewarning that "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars" if we are not supposed to study it and know?  If we don't know the biblical calendar then we will remain clueless as to what God is doing. Get my feast dvd's to understand what each fall feast was a rehearsal for!

Pastor Mark Biltz   

Woman clothed with the Sun

Revelation 12

 1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

 3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

 7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

 15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

 16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

After viewing the Star of Bethlehem, (videos have now been taken down from youtube due to copyright restrictions).  I was totally amazed at what Fred Larson has found. At the same time still I wanted to verify and see for myself what Frederick Larson (http://bethlehemstar.net) had discovered. I downloaded Stellarium (Astronomy software  from Stellarium.com - free download).  What he had found I can now verify. God Himself had written the events of the Birth of Christ and the Cruxifiction in the Stars. You can also download the software and see it for youself.

Then  on April 5th I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to search for astronomical events during Rosh Hashanah 2009. I did just that and what I found was amazing!   On Sept 18th 2009 just a little after 8:00 PM Jerusalem Time during the transition of the New Moon there is an alignment of the Earth, Moon, Mercury, the Sun, and Saturn in the constellation of Virgo.

This graphic depicts the alignment.

This event could be of major significance for Israel and the Body of Christ.   I have purchased the Starry Night Software to verify  what I have found below using the Stellarium software and the update I promised is below.

Here is a screen print of  the alignment that is showing up in Stellarium.

Saturn - top left above the Sun, Mercury just under the Sun (its a little hard to see but it shows up as a dim blue circle, Moon is the white dot below and overlaping Mercury. The labels are overlaped in the software for Moon and Mercury.  Wonder where the Earth is? You are on the earth looking at the Sun. It is daylight over the evening horizon because the Sun has just set in Israel. The reason the sky is dark instead of blue is because I have the software set in dark mode which deletes the blue sky and allows you to see the alignment.   

This image taken at 11:33pm Jerusalem Time, Sept 18th 2009 using Starry Night software.

This I believe is a small sign compared to what the Lord is about to do. We will soon witness signs and wonders in the heavens beyond anything we can imagine.  Yes, scientist and astronomers can project lunar and solar activity, the movement of planets, comets, astroids, and even galaxies, but what is about to transpire will not be the norm by no means.  Be forwarned and do not fear for these things must come to pass.



This is very large with an alternating spiral to elliptical shape, obscured by dense cloudy dust and looks strangely familiar. What is it? The NGC 7049 galaxy, dubbed “Crown of Thorns” because of its eerily look-a-like to the crown of thorns pushed down on the head of Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago.

The Crown of Thorns is located in the southern constellation known as Indus and is one of the brighter cluster of galaxies (BCG’s) so far photographed by Hubble.

Composed of uncounted stars, space dust and debris, it is quite an amazing and beautiful site. These type of BSGs are normally much older and quite large compared to their younger brethren, such as our own Milky Way Galaxy, which is a baby in age by comparison.

[NASA Hubble Telescope Photo]

(ABOVE) The first discovery is high-energy X-rays emanating from a nebula. It looks like a big blue out-stretched hand reaching for a red light. The red light is a near by gas cloud.  Red represents low-energy X-rays, the medium range is green, and the most energetic ones are colored blue. The blue hand-like structure was created by energy emanating from the nebula around they dying star PSR B1509-58. The red areas are from a neighboring gas cloud called RCW 89. Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane, et al.  Notice that wrist looks like it has been pierced.



The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation of Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae.[7] The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years. It is similar in appearance to the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle.[2] The Helix has often been referred to as the Eye of God on the Internet, since about 2003. REFERENCE: wikipedia.org/wiki/Helix_Nebula

NGC 6302


Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302

This celestial object looks like a delicate butterfly. But it is far from serene.

What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour -- fast enough to travel from Earth to the moon in 24 minutes!

A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so-named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope.

The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. WFC3 was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the servicing mission to upgrade and repair the 19-year-old Hubble telescope.

NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. The glowing gas is the star’s outer layers, expelled over about 2,200 years. The "butterfly" stretches for more than two light-years, which is about half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

The central star itself cannot be seen, because it is hidden within a doughnut-shaped ring of dust, which appears as a dark band pinching the nebula in the center. The thick dust belt constricts the star’s outflow, creating the classic "bipolar" or hourglass shape displayed by some planetary nebulae.

The star’s surface temperature is estimated to be about 400,000 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the hottest known stars in our galaxy. Spectroscopic observations made with ground-based telescopes show that the gas is roughly 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is unusually hot compared to a typical planetary nebulae.

The WFC3 image reveals a complex history of ejections from the star. The star first evolved into a huge red-giant star, with a diameter of about 1,000 times that of our Sun. It then lost its extended outer layers. Some of this gas was cast off from its equator at a relatively slow speed, perhaps as low as 20,000 miles an hour, creating the doughnut-shaped ring. Other gas was ejected perpendicular to the ring at higher speeds, producing the elongated "wings" of the butterfly-shaped structure. Later, as the central star heated up, a much faster stellar wind, a stream of charged particles travelling at more than 2 million miles an hour, plowed through the existing wing-shaped structure, further modifying its shape.

The image also shows numerous finger-like projections pointing back to the star, which may mark denser blobs in the outflow that have resisted the pressure from the stellar wind.

The nebula's outer edges are largely due to light emitted by nitrogen, which marks the coolest gas visible in the picture. WFC3 is equipped with a wide variety of filters that isolate light emitted by various chemical elements, allowing astronomers to infer properties of the nebular gas, such as its temperature, density, and composition.

The white-colored regions are areas where light is emitted by sulfur. These are regions where fast-moving gas overtakes and collides with slow-moving gas that left the star at an earlier time, producing shock waves in the gas (the bright white edges on the sides facing the central star). The white blob with the crisp edge at upper right is an example of one of those shock waves.

NGC 6302 was imaged on July 27, 2009 with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 in ultraviolet and visible light. Filters that isolate emissions from oxygen, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur from the planetary nebula were used to create this composite image.

These Hubble observations of the planetary nebula NGC 6302 are part of the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations.




  ASTEROID - 2009 HC82

The discovery of a 2- to 3-kilometre-wide asteroid in an orbit that goes backwards has set astronomers scratching their heads. It comes closer to Earth than any other object in a 'retrograde' orbit, and astronomers think they should have spotted it before.

The object, called 2009 HC82, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on the morning of 29 April.

From observations of its position by five different groups, Sonia Keys of the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center initially calculated it orbits the sun every 3.39 years. New observations suggest it travels on a path that ventures within 15 million km of the Earth's orbit.

What's really unusual is that the calculated orbit is inclined 155° to the plane of the Earth's orbit. That means that as it orbits the Sun, it actually travels backwards compared to the planets. It is only the 20th asteroid known in a retrograde orbit, a very rare group. None of the others comes as close to the Earth. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: http://www.newscientist.com/

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