Items Posted In December, 2021

Why Mass Matters

The Christmas Star or Star of Bethlehem was a stellar event which was visible continuously or intermittently for multiple months.

Posted on September 12, 2021 by

Categories: Cosmology, Science

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Astronomy found that its mass determines nearly every aspect of a star’s physics; in the end, mass matters.  The star’s place on the HR diagram is primarily determined primarily by its mass.  The star’s position on the HR diagram determines its absolute brightness and color. The problem was that astronomers did not understand why this was so at the beginning of the twentieth century. First, they had thought that maybe younger stars would burn brighter, but this was not necessarily so.  Then astronomers hypothesized that larger stars would be brighter, which is also not necessarily so. The reason why so… Read More »

Star Clusters

Star Cluster M15.

Posted on September 10, 2021 by

Categories: Cosmology, Science

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Stars are not uniformly distributed throughout the night sky but are often clumped together in star clusters.  These star clusters were of some nuisance to astronomers trying to discover comets or deep sky objects because they appeared similar to the casual observer. Charles Messier gained some fame in cataloging some of these annoying clusters so they could not be confused with other objects, especially comets.  His occupation as the Astronomer of the Navy for the government of France afforded him some opportunity to gain familiarity with the night sky.  He made a catalog of star clusters so that he and… Read More »

Stellar Mass

Posted on September 6, 2021 by

Categories: Cosmology, Science

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The next mystery to be addressed by astronomy concerned stellar mass.  Henry Russel proposed in 1914 that the hotter, more luminous stars had greater mass, while the cooler stars had a lower mass.  This means that the stars on the upper left of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram were had a greater stellar mass and had a blue color, while those on the lower right corner of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram were red stars with much lower masses. Unfortunately, early in the twentieth century, there was no way astronomers could measure stellar mass. How astronomers figured this out represents one of the greatest… Read More »

The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) Diagram

Sirius and White Dwarf

Posted on September 4, 2021 by

Categories: Cosmology, Science

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The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is foundational to an understanding of stars and virtually everything astronomers have learned about stars, galaxies, and the universe.  The diagram plots the absolute magnitude of a star against its spectrum. Thus, to put any star on the diagram, we only need to know its surface temperature (which relates to its spectral type) and the absolute brightness. Astronomers can determine the spectral type for visible stars if the telescope can gather enough light.  The amount of light collected from a star can be increased with a larger telescope, longer collections time, or more sensitive equipment. In addition,… Read More »

Ancient City of Ziklag Discovered

The City of Ziklag was found at an ancient archaeological site in Israel.

Posted on August 26, 2021 by

Categories: Archaeology, Historical Evidence

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The Biblical ancient city of Ziklag has been discovered in Israel.  The Times of Israel reports that the site was accidentally found by archaeologist Saar Ganor surveying the Elah Valley in 2007.  This valley is most popular as the site of the confrontation between King David and Golia. The boy shepherd defeated the mighty Philistine warrior with a slingshot stone knocking him unconscious. David would become king of Israel only after spending thirteen years on the run from King Saul.  Saul was jealous of David’s abilities and likely viewed him as a rival to his throne.  Saul relentlessly hunted David down… Read More »

Paul’s Conversion Date

The conversion of Paul occurred in 34 AD shortly after the Crucifixion.

Posted on August 23, 2021 by

Categories: Historical Evidence

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Paul’s conversion date has been a topic of intense academic study for many decades. As a result, a historical narrative has been painstakingly assembled to include many important historical events relevant to ancient Christianity.  These include Herod’s death date, Christ’s birth date, John the Baptist’s ministry, Christ’s Crucifixion date, and Paul’s conversion date and death date. Remarkably, these dates can be determined with some reliability and interrelate with each other in a smooth historical narrative. Of course, the dates are certainly still a manner of considerable controversy and some speculation, and certainly, there is no consensus of agreement among historians… Read More »

Dead Sea Scrolls

The historicity of Christ is supported by secular writers.

Posted on August 21, 2021 by

Categories: Archaeology, Historical Evidence

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The Dead Sea Scrolls represent one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the last century.  The noted American archaeologist William F. Albright called it “the greatest manuscript discovery of all times.” But, on the other hand, the French scholar Dupont-Sommer felt, It is not a single revolution in the study of biblical exegesis … [it is] a whole cascade of revolutions.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have also produced no end of controversy.  For example, William LaSor noted, In the August, 1966 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Allegro spun a story of falsification, distortions, and innuendoes, the total effect of which was… Read More »

Ancient Earthquake

Posted on August 15, 2021 by

Categories: Archaeology, Historical Evidence

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There have been many ancient earthquakes described in the Scriptures.  Probably the most well-known is the one that occurred during the crucifixion of Christ.  However, another earthquake described in Scripture is less well-known but strong enough to have altered history.  This earthquake disrupted history during the eighth century BC and is mentioned in the Biblical Texts of Amos and Zechariah and with colorful detail by Josephus. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Ir David Foundation found evidence of this earthquake when they evaluated the ruins of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.  (Silwan (also known as Siloam) is mentioned in… Read More »

The Destruction of Gath

Posted on August 14, 2021 by

Categories: Archaeology, Historical Evidence

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The recent discovery of the destruction of Gath confirms the Biblical historicity of the period.  It is important because it is yet demonstration of how modern archaeology is confirming the Biblical narrative. Gath, Goliath, and David The mighty warrior Gath was one of five brothers who had come out to defeat the overwhelmed Israeli army.  Saul, the King of Israel, was despondent because it appeared all hope was lost as there was clearly nobody in his army who stood a chance in defeating Goliath in the natural.  Goliath yells curses at David and God, but the young shepherd boy is… Read More »

Herod the Great’s Death Date

The Herodium was the burial place of Herod the Great.

Posted on August 13, 2021 by

Categories: Historical Evidence

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When Did Herod the Great Die – The Eclipse and The Eagle The death date of Herod the Great is important because we know Herod was alive when Christ was born. Therefore, knowing Herod the Great’s death date will help determine the birth year of Christ. Ultimately, the death date depends upon understanding astronomy because it provides the data necessary to pinpoint the dates ascribed by Josephus.  Modern astronomy can determine the exact dates of many astronomical events such as lunar eclipses due to the orderly m movement of planets and their moons.  There is a historical event described by… Read More »