23 Oct, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

The media has been swamped with COVID-19 updates and election news but a quick look reveals that a surprising number of asteroids have come in close proximity to the earth and even more are on the way. In fact, the number of asteroids whizzing past is increasing exponentially and despite improving technology, NASA is missing far more than it catches.

2020: The Year of the Asteroid

The year started out in ominous fashion in January as 14 asteroids were reported to be on track to pass Earth. On measured 1,800 feet across, making it wider than the Empire State Building is tall.

In April, an asteroid known as 1998 OR2, measuring between 1.1 and 2.5 miles wide and traveling at a speed of around 19,500 mph (miles per hour), was classified as  “potentially hazardous”  just before it made a close approach to the Earth.

In August, 2020 QG flew  1,830 miles over the Indian Ocean, making it the closest known non-impacting asteroid on record. Measuring in at 10-20 feet across and traveling at a meager at 27,600 miles per hour, the asteroid was not considered a threat which is fortunate since NASA first noticed it six hours before it whizzed past.

On September 24, 2020 SW, an asteroid about the size of an RV or small school bus, passed within 13,000 miles of the Earth’s surface, which is about 7% of the moon’s distance from the planet, traveling at an astonishing 17,000 miles per hour. Despite the disturbingly close pass, NASA assured the public that there was nothing to worry about and that such near-misses happened several times each year, though the space agency admitted they could not detect such asteroids until they were very close. 

Which would explain why two other significantly larger asteroids passed close by that same week.  2020 RO measuring about 426 feet in diameter passed by the Earth on September 25 at a distance of 3.6 million miles.  2020 PM7 measuring 656 feet passed by four days later at a closer distance of 1.78 million miles. In fact, a total of 21 asteroids passed by Earth between September 25 and October 2.

Perhaps the most astonishing pass will come in October when  2020 SO will come so close that astronomers predict it will enter into an orbit around the Earth, accompanying us until May next year as a min-moon. 2020 SO is small, estimated at 6-12 meters across, leading some astronomers to suggest it may be man-made, perhaps a cast off rocket booster. 

And three potential, albeit unlikely, impacts could take place before the US presidential elections on November 3. The most likely candidate for colluding with the Earth is 2018 VP which will cross Earth’s orbit on November 2. Experts assure the public that the most likely scenario is that 2018 VP will fly past our planet without making an impact. Even if it does collide with the Earth, a 1 in 240 possibility according to the experts, the two-meter wide asteroid will burn up harmlessly in our atmosphere. 

A large asteroid, 1,640 feet across, labeled (153201) 2000 WO107 will fly past the earth at 11.19 times the Earth-moon distance on November 29. Despite its size, astronomers will have to be quick since it will be traveling at 56,080 miles per hour.

NASA: Well-Equipped But Still Failing to Predict Near-Misses

The phenomenon is so prevalent that NASA established the Near Earth Object (NEO) program in 1998 to track asteroids that were on a trajectory that would bring them close to home  and that measured 460 feet in diameter or larger. Since its inception, the NEO has identified almost one million asteroids with  90 percent of them measuring larger than 3,200 feet across. To be qualified as having a close approach, the NEO must be within 121 million miles of the Sun and within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Despite these impressive statistics, the NEO has logged some significant misses. On July 24, an asteroid named 2019 OK came within 40,400 miles of Earth.

The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) was established in 2016 to detect any potentially hazardous object. Since the PDCO was established, at least four major impacts have been reported. Only three impact events have been successfully predicted in advance, usually by only a few hours.  Currently, predictions are mainly based on cataloging asteroids years before they are due to impact. This works well for larger asteroids as they are easily seen from a long distance but is ineffective for predicting smaller objects that can still be quite destructive.

Asteroids Setting the Stage for Final Redemption

Yuval Ovadia, whose films on Nibiru have garnered hundreds of thousands of views, noted that asteroid sightings have been on the rise for the past ten years, but this year is on an entirely new scale.

“This is not simply a matter of better technology and telescopes,” Ovadia noted. “In fact, NASA and the major observatories have missed most of the asteroids that entered the atmosphere. And you can be sure that even more went entirely unnoticed, passing over uninhabited parts of the planet of the open seas.”

As an illustrative example, Ovadia referred to the Chelyabinsk Event. On 15 February 2013 a meteor approximately 66 ft entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia at a speed of approximately 40,000 mph. Due to its high velocity and shallow angle of atmospheric entry, the object exploded in an airburst over Chelyabinsk Oblast, at a height of around 18.5 miles, releasing 26 to 33 times as much energy as that released from the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima. The object was undetected before its atmospheric entry, in part because its radiant was close to the Sun. Its explosion created panic among local residents. About 1,500 people were injured seriously enough to seek medical treatment and some 7,200 buildings in six cities across the region were damaged by the explosion’s shock wave.

16 hours later, 367943 Duende, an asteroid approximately 100 feet in diameter, passed within 17,200 miles of the earth.

Ovadia explained that Jewish sources describe a star that will appear in the end of days, wreaking havoc but not destroying the world, what many refer to as Nibiru.

As Nibiru approaches, more asteroids will appear,” Ovadia said. “Nibiru is described in Jewish sources as a star, not as an asteroid. But as it approaches, it pushes asteroids ahead of it like a ship pushes water in front of it.”

The appearance of a star is explicitly described in the Bible as a sign presaging the arrival of the Messiah. 

Ovadia explained that the renowned medieval scholar Maimonides described the prophecy of Balaam in the Bible as referring to astronomical phenomena presaging the Messiah.

What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet. Numbers 24:17

Ovadiah suggested that due to all of the natural catastrophes and political upheavals, the drastic increase in asteroids went unnoticed.

“Of course, everything is part of the divine plan,” Ovadia said. “But we see by what is happening in the world, by the way people are acting, that the Final Redemption is approaching. The Bible speaks about politics because it is a powerful expression or social morality. In the end, it will be clear how everything is interconnected: politics, religion, nature, war, catastrophes. Everything is in the purview of God.”

“It is clear we are living in powerful times, fateful times,” Ovadia said. “It is becoming clear that America and Europe are not safe. And the governments are making it worse by causing division among the people. They should be bringing the people together in prayer and repentance. The safest place in the world will be here in Israel.”