The Revelation 12 Sign
By Rob Allan
And 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:
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
A few years ago, Scott Clarke postulated that we were heading towards a unique celestial event that many people now refer to as the Revelation 12 Sign. You can see this event for yourself using a star gazing application like Stellarium. On September 23, 2017, three wandering stars (Mercury, Mars and Venus) can be seen in the constellation of Leo along with the nine other fixed stars that Stellarium shows making up Leo for a total of 12 stars. The constellation of Virgo appears beneath Leo in the heavens. Both Virgo and Leo lie on the ecliptic (a circular path on the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year). Clarke suggests that the 12 stars in Leo represent the crown of 12 stars in Revelation 12:1. Each year, the sun appears in Virgo at this time. On September 23, 2017, the moon is also found in Virgo. The constellation lines in Stellarium show the sun over Virgo's shoulder (she is clothed with the sun) with the moon under her feet. Interestingly, Jupiter entered Virgo's constellation lines on November 20, 2016, and largely remained in Virgo's constellation lines (womb) until September 9, 2017 for a total of 294 days. The average gestation period for a human is 280 days. Thus, Clarke suggests that Jupiter's retrograde motion symbolically represents Revelation 12:2. Note that Jupiter briefly left Virgo's constellation lines (according to Stellarium) in May and June. Your mileage may vary depending upon where you draw your constellation lines (I'm using Stellarium to write this article).
The High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets (the Jewish New Year celebration) marks the end of year 5777 and the beginning of year 5778. This year, the Feast of Trumpets may very well coincide with the Revelation 12 Sign on September 23. The exact date of the Feast of Trumpets depends on first sighting of the new moon (at least 2% illumination). This sighting is expected to begin on the 21st and end on the evening of the 22rd or perhaps it will begin on the 22nd and end on the evening of the 23rd. The Feast of Trumpets, in Jewish tradition, is believed to be the day when the dead will be ressurected and judgement will begin. Some Christians believe this is the period of time when the tribultion begins. September 22nd is also the autumnal equinox (a time when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal).
Some Christians have suggested that the rapture will occur on September 23, 2017. I sincerely doubt this will happen. Not only does Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks reject this (Daniel 9) but the bible instructs us that date setting is to be avoided for predicting the Lor'd return. Only the Father knows ...
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
I'm also more than a little hesitant to suggest that the seven year tribulation begins at this time because Daniel 9 provides a clear marker for the commencement of the tribulation (an agreement with many) - and I don't see this in the news at the time of this writing. I believe those who are watching will surely recognize this event when it happens.
The woman in Revelation 12:1-2 very likely represents Israel, and the child is clearly the Messiah. Many are linking these symbols to the church and thus using these so-called signs to justify their own rapture theories.
The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Room ...
While there has been much discussion about the first two verses of Revelation 12, there has been very little said about verse 3:
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Where's the Beef?
The great red dragon is a key figure in end time bible prophecy. If veses 1 and 2 truly describe a great celestial sign in the sun, moon and stars, then surely it follows that the great red dragon (Satan) in verse 3 must also be represented by some physical sign (wonder) in the heavens, right?
And 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 [my emphasis].
Clearly, verse 4 offers us some important information. The dragon stands before the woman to devour the child as soon as it is born. Indeed this verse seems to suggest that there should be some physical sign in the heavens (very near Virgo) that represents the dragon around this time (at the moment the child is born). Some people have suggested there might be dragon signs in other constellations to explain verse 4, but I've not found any of these to be very convincing.
This leaves us with a couple of possibilities. Either there is (1) some sign yet to appear that fulfills the description given in verse 4, or (2) perhaps the celestial event suggested by Scott Clarke that occurs on Septermber 23 is not the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2. I believe these signs in Revelation 12 are all bound together in a single cohesive story - and that they all come to pass in reasonably continuous flow of time. It seems unlikely that God would fulfill only part of the great Revelation 12 signs in the heavens.
The Anomaly in Google Sky - A Wierd Coincidence?
A few Revelation 12 researchers have noticed something odd in Virgo while using other star gazing tools such as Google Sky.
Here we see the constellation of Virgo as seen in the Google Sky website. The red rectangle is drawn around a faint dark rectangle to illustrate where this anomaly can be found in Virgo. Let's turn down the opacity of the constellation artwork and take a closer look at the actual anomaly underneath.
In the image above, we can faintly see some of the stars in the visible spectrum that make up Virgo. Overlapping the starfield in the visible spectrum, is an overlay of the infrared spectrum. Inside the red rectangle, you can see a black rectangle. This black rectangle covers imagery that is only visible in the infrared spectrum. In other words, this black rectangle represents a redaction of IR information in the constellation of Virgo that is very close to where Jupiter will be on September 23, 2017. This is very odd and it begs the question, why is Google redacting this small block of IR imagery in Google Sky when no other redaction occurs?
Incidentally, the same IR images can be observed on another star gazing portal called SkyView. The SkyView website doesn't block this portion of the sky, but it requies you to enter specific coordinates to retrieve imagery for that portion of the sky. Using coordinates for the center of the redacted image on Google Sky (13h 49m 9s, -8 42 40) I can program SkyView to provide an image of that part of the IRAS sky that Google Sky is blocking. The very strange image from SkyView is provided below. Note - if you don't have these coordinates, it would be unlikely you would ever find this image.
You are probably asking, where did the IR images come from that are used in Google Sky and SkyView? The answer can be found on the Google Sky website. Google says the IR images came from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) which was a joint venture between the United States (NASA) the United Kingdom (SERC) and the Netherlands (NIVR). In the IRAS canonical paper, the abstract reads:
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) consists of a spacecraft and a liquid helium cryostat that contains a cooled IR telescope. The telescope's focal plane assembly is cooled to less than 3 K, and contains 62 IR detectors in the survey array which are arranged so that every source crossing the field of view can be seen by at least two detectors in each of four wavelength bands. The satellite was launched into a 900 km-altitude near-polar orbit, and its cryogenic helium supply was exhausted on November 22, 1983. By mission's end, 72 percent of the sky had been observed with three or more hours-confirming scans, and 95 percent with two or more hours-confirming scans [my emphasis]. About 2000 stars detected at 12 and 25 microns early in the mission, and identified in the SAO (1966) catalog, have a positional uncertainty ellipse whose axes are 45 x 9 arcsec for an hours-confirmed source.
IRAS was launched on January 25, 1983, and it was the first space telescope to perform a survey of the entire night sky in the infrared spectrum. It's mission only lasted ten months, but during that time IRAS mapped 96% of the sky and collected 250,000 IR sources were observed at 12, 25, 60 and 100 micrometer wavelengths. The IR Science Archive at IPAC holds the IRAS archive. IRAS made headlines on December 10, 1983, when observers claimed discovery of an "unknown object" described to be as large as Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it could've been part of our solar system. An article that appeared in the Washington Post can be found here. IRAS discoveries have fueled both astronomical research as well as so-called conspiracy theories like Nibiru. What exactly are were we looking at in Virgo in 1983?
Caltech analyzed the IRAS images back in 1983 - the images that appear in Google Sky today. Decades later, in October of 2016, Caltech announced the discovery of Planet 9 - a heretofore undiscovered planet. Caltech Professor of Planetary Astronomy, Mark Brown, asserts that Planet 9 is incredibly massive and is introducing a torque on our solar system:
All of the planets orbit in a flat plane with respect to the sun, roughly within a couple degrees of each other. That plane, however, rotates at a six-degree tilt with respect to the sun—giving the appearance that the sun itself is cocked off at an angle. Until now, no one had found a compelling explanation to produce such an effect. "It's such a deep-rooted mystery and so difficult to explain that people just don't talk about it."
The idea that another heavenly body might reside in our solar system is compelling as it helps to explain some of the most amazing end time bible prophecies from increased tectonic plate activity to X-Class Coronal Mass Ejections to the arrival of Wormwood. Recall Revelation 12:2:
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Indeed the birth pains mentioned in Matthew 24, a hallmark sign of the end times, are given whole new meaning when thought about in terms of a mysterious heavenly body approaching our inner solar system on an orbit that is off the solar plane by 30 degrees.
Is it possible that a heavenly body is approaching our inner solar system? Were signs of this first discovered in 1983? Might this object become visible in Virgo in the days ahead - to fulfill Revelation 12:3? I mention this only because this is the sort of celestial event needed to reconcile Revelation 12:3 with Scott Clarke's assertion that Revelation 12:1-2 is to be realized in the sky on September 23, 2017. Perhaps the most vexing question for Google, a company that prides itself on innovation, is why are you still using infrared images from 1983 in your highly touted Google Sky web application? And why did you redact part of the sky from 1983 when its clearly available in SkyView? One can't deny that there is a curious level of strangeness going on here. Time will tell if there's any evidence to help answer any of the hypothetical questions discussed herein. Until then, keep looking up.