For much of history comets have been associated with death and disease. There is increasing evidence that some life on Earth originated in comets and other stellar debris. If passing comets have continued to deposit viruses and microorganisms on this planet, this may explain why ancient astronomers and civilizations attributed the periodic outbreak of plague to these stellar objects. Moreover, the subsequent evolution and extinction of life may have been directly impacted by the continued arrival of bacteria, archae, viruses, and their genes from space. On this picture the evolution of higher plants and animals would be impacted by the insertion of genes from space, as well as recurrent episodes of pandemic disease. Near-culling pandemics and extinction episodes have in fact been preceded by or followed by inserts of viral genes into survivors who have transmitted these viral elements to their progeny, thereby impacting future evolution. Although ancient fears and reverence of comets may be coincidental with the outbreaks of pandemics, they may also have a factual basis.
With Covid-19 now wreaking havoc upon America and much of the world, some might ask why we've decided to bring 'comets' into the picture within this story and as you'll see within the remainder of it, there's a HUGE reason why!†
While we know now that this coronavirus pandemic first 'went viral' in Wuhan, China, whether naturally or a man-made bioweapon, certainly taking away most of the possibility that it was caused by a comet, that 'something HUGE' that came into the picture at the end of 2019 and has largely been ignored is getting a lot of attention from some of our readers and they've asked that we investigate this 'something HUGE' a little bit more and, to say the least, we're stunned by what we've found out.†
So let's not waste any more time before introducing 'Comet Atlas'. Just discovered at the end of December on the 28th of that month, 'Comet Atlas' may soon be visible to the naked eye, expected to make it's close approach to the Earth on May 23rd before it's closest pass by the sun on May 31st. Already being called the 'brightest comet' of 2020 with some saying that it will soon be the brightest object visible in the sky short of the sun and the moon, as this story at the Daily Mail reports, the comet's atmosphere will be close to 5X BIGGER than Jupiter and more than half the size of the sun.
Just a coincidence that 'Comet Atlas' will soon be making an appearance to us here upon our planet Earth, possibly visible to people across the world, in this day and age of Covid-19 we're now living in? This recent story over at Forbes is titled: "A Bright Comet With A Tail Could Adorn Twilight Just As The Coronavirus Epidemic Peaks".
So let's take an extended look here at recently discovered 'Comet Atlas' before we continue.†
According to scientists, 'Comet Atlas' aka C/2019 Y4 may be a fragment of the same 'parent body' as the Great Comet of 1844 due to similarities noted in the orbital elements of the two comets. From Wikipedia: The first orbital calculations for the comet were published on the Minor Planet Electronic Circular, and were based on observations taken between December 28, 2019, and January 9, 2020, which indicating a 4,400-year orbital period.†
While subsequent observations showed an orbital period of between 4,800 years and 6,000 years and those estimates very dependent upon perturbations to its orbit due to other planets, we also learn from this story over at Forbes that Comet Atlas is getting a tail and may soon be the brightest object in the sky, visible to almost everybody in the Northern Hemisphere and, coincidentally, or not, just as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to 'peak' here in America.†
Possibly the brightest comet to light up our skies in over 20 years, of great interest though possibly only speculation is this excerpt from the website 'Answers In Genesis' which reported†upon the time period of the 'Great Biblical Flood' and coincidentally, the time period aligns almost eerily with the last time 'Atlas' or its 'parent body' was around approximately 4,400 years ago.†
Using the Bible, well-documented historical events, and some math, we find that the 'Great Flood' began approximately 4,359 years ago in the year 1656 AM or 2348 BC.†
Just a coincidence that the 'Great Biblical Flood' began approximately 4,359 years ago while scientists believe the last time 'Comet Atlas'†or its parent was around was about 4,400 years ago? Well, according to Sir Isaac Newton, yes that 'Newton', a comet was the cause of Noah's flood. From this story over at National Geographic.:
Calculations conducted by Edmund Halley suggested that the comet of 1680 swung by the Earth every 575 years. Working backward, Whiston noted that one such cosmic encounter occurred in 2342 B.C., which, at the time, was believed to be the date of the great Deluge.
According to the Book of Genesis: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."
Whiston argued that a comet passing close to Earth could explain these phenomena. The gravitational pull of the comet, he said, fractured the planetís crust. And the vaporous tail of the comet saturated the upper atmosphere with excess water, which lead to a cataclysmic rainfall. The weight of the rainfall combined with tidal forces caused water beneath the surface of Earth to flow forth and wreak havoc.
Although this comet served Godís purpose, Whiston made it clear that this was not a case of the Almighty flinging it at Earth, like Zeus hurling a lightning bolt. Rather, God had created the comet in antiquity, setting it on a path destined by physics to perform its task.
As one commentator described it, ďGod had foreseen that man would sin and that his crimes, reaching their consummation, would demand a terrible punishment; consequently, He had prepared from the moment of the Creation a comet which would be the instrument of His vengeance.Ē
The following extended excerpt comes to us from the University of Maryland's 'Deep Impact' website.:
Comets have inspired dread, fear, and awe in many different cultures and societies around the world and throughout time. They have been branded with such titles as "the Harbinger of Doom" and "the Menace of the Universe." They have been regarded both as omens of disaster and messengers of the gods. Why is it that comets are some of the most feared and venerated objects in the night sky? Why did so many cultures cringe at the sight of a comet?
When people living in ancient cultures looked up, comets were the most remarkable objects in the night sky. Comets were unlike any other object in the night sky. Whereas most celestial bodies travel across the skies at regular, predictable intervals, so regular that constellations could be mapped and predicted, comets' movements have always seemed very erratic and unpredictable. This led people in many cultures to believe that the gods dictated their motions and were sending them as a message. What were the gods trying to say?
Some cultures read the message by the images that they saw upon looking at the comet. For example, to some cultures the tail of the comet gave it the appearance of the head of a woman, with long flowing hair behind her. This sorrowful symbol of mourning was understood to mean the gods that had sent the comet to earth were displeased. Others thought that the elongated comet looked like a fiery sword blazing across the night sky, a traditional sign of war and death. Such a message from the gods could only mean that their wrath would soon be unleashed onto the people of the land. Such ideas struck fear into those who saw comets dart across the sky. The likeness of the comet, though, was not the only thing that inspired fear.
Ancient cultural legends also played a hand in inspiring a terrible dread of these celestial nomads. The Roman prophecies, the "Sibylline Oracles," spoke of a "great conflagration from the sky, falling to earth," while the most ancient known mythology, the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh," described fire, brimstone, and flood with the arrival of a comet. Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, a Jew living in Spain, wrote of God taking two stars from Khima and throwing them at the earth in order to begin the great flood. Yakut legend in ancient Mongolia called comets "the daughter of the devil," and warned of destruction, storm and frost, whenever she approaches the earth. Stories associating comets with such terrible imagery are at the base of so many cultures on Earth, and fuel a dread that followed comet sightings throughout history.†
Comets' influence on cultures is not limited simply to tales of myth and legend, though. Comets throughout history have been blamed for some of history's darkest times. In Switzerland, Halley's Comet was blamed for earthquakes, illnesses, red rain, and even the births of two-headed animals. The Romans recorded that a fiery comet marked the assassination of Julius Caesar, and another was blamed for the extreme bloodshed during the battle between Pompey and Caesar. In England, Halley's Comet was blamed for bringing the Black Death. The Incas, in South America, even record a comet having foreshadowed Francisco Pizarro's arrival just days before he brutally conquered them. Comets and disaster became so intertwined that Pope Calixtus III even excommunicated Halley's Comet as an instrument of the devil, and a meteorite, from a comet, became enshrined as one of the most venerated objects in all of Islam. Were it not for a Chinese affinity for meticulous record keeping, a true understanding of comets may never have been reached.†
Unlike their Western counterparts, Chinese astronomers kept extensive records on the appearances, paths, and disappearances of hundreds of comets. Extensive comet atlases have been found dating back to the Han Dynasty, which describe comets as "long-tailed pheasant stars" or "broom stars" and associate the different cometary forms with different disasters. Although the Chinese also regarded comets as "vile stars," their extensive records allowed later astronomers to determine the true nature of comets.†
And while most people no longer cringe at the sight of a comet in this modern day and age we're now living in, too preoccupied with staying alive with coronavirus even kicking 'social justice' off of the minds of most millenials, we've seen many different reasons why so many different cultures throughout so many different periods of history have looked at comets as harbingers of doom and disaster so the arrival of 'Atlas' in our skies in April and May with this covid-19 outbreak hitting full stride during the same time period is something to think about.†
The following helpful hints to view Comet Atlast comes to us from this Forbes story: How and when to see Comet Atlas. The trajectory of Comet Atlas is currently taking it away from the Big Dipper/Plough. Itís likely to be at its brightest and best around the end of April/beginning of May when it gets closer to the Sun (itís at its perihelion closest-to-sun point on May 31, 2020). On April 30, 2020 it will be in the constellation of Camelopardalis and best seen just after sunset, in the western twilight sky. You can see it now with any telescope if you use this sky chart.
And while we here at ANP are not in the position to declare the arrival of 'Comet Atlas' in our skies as a 'harbinger of doom' as many in the ancient people and cultures believed, it's timing with the 'peak arrival of coronavirus infections'†across the planet is definitely something to think about, especially with many believing the Great Genesis Flood arrived to 'cleanse our world of sin' and our planet in need of just such a 'cleansing' today.†
The 1st video below takes a look at how to see†'Comet Atlas'†with a telescope prior to it becoming visible with the naked eye as it approaches the Earth while in the 2nd video below we hear more about comets being looked at historically as 'harbingers of disaster'. And while we won't go so far as to call Atlas a 'doomsday comet' as the videographer does in the final video below, he offers an interesting analysis on why he believes 'Atlas' could deliver something other than just an amazing sight in the sky, echoing civilations going back thousands of years.†
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