Saturday, January 2, 2010

Biela's Comet: Twin Comets

I am putting together a Baha'i childrens lesson right now for our class laster on today and I really got into the research of it. Most people know the story of Christ's Birth, how there was a special star that lead the Wise Men.  Well, there is a similar parallel in the Baha'i Faith and I wanted to find the facts about it.  In the Baha'i Faith, there were twin messengers/prophets (Manifestiations) of God; The Bab and Baha'u'llah.  The Bab's mission came first..similar to John the Baptist, His role was to open the "gate" to the Promised One.  At this time there was a comet, Biela's comet and at the time when Baha'u'llah began His mission, the comet split in two.  Here is Willam Sears' account of it from his book, Thief in the Night:

. In 1845 a comet appeared soon
after the one in 1843. It was called Rela's Comet. It seemed to
be an ordinary comet, in a year in which some 300 comets had
appeared, and it had appeared many times before in the past. In
1846 it was still visible. At this period in its history, it
became one of the unique comets of all time. It was now entering
into the last dramatic moments of its life. The Encyclopedia
Americana gives the following account of this event: "It was found
again late in November 1845, and in the following month an
observation was made of one of the most remarkable phenomena in
astronomical records, the division of the comet. It put forth no
tail while this alteration was going on. Professor Challis, using
the Northumberland 1846, was inclined to distrust his eyes or his
glass when he beheld two comets where but one had been before. He
would call it, he said, a binary (twin) comet if such a thing had
ever been heard of before. His observations were soon verified,
however."[F2] History shows that there had been other binary (twin
comets) but Rela's was one of the most unusual. Sir James Jeans
wrote of this same comet, saying: "The most interesting story is
that of Rela's comet which broke in two while under observation in
1846." The comet then disappeared. It returned in August, 1852.
This was the very month and the very year in which Bahá'u'lláh was
cast into an underground prison in Tihran. This was the year 1269
of the calendar of Islam. It was also exactly the ninth year after
the Báb's Declaration to Mulla Husayn in the year 1260. The Bab
had prophesied: "Ere nine years have elapsed" the Promised One of
all ages and religions will come. It was but a few weeks later, in
that same prison, that Bahá'u'lláh's Mission began. August, 1852,
was the hour of the reappearance of the comet, the comet that had
split in two to become twin-comets. Strangely enough, at the time
of the reappearance of the twin-comets in 1852, one half had
receded far into the background. The other half, though in a
parallel orbit, now dominated the scene. Just so had the Báb,
the Herald of the Bahá'í Faith, passed into history, and the
One Whose coming He had foretold, Bahá'u'lláh, had assumed His
Mission. The Americana record of this astronomical event states:
"Late in August, 1852, the larger portion again came into view; and
three weeks later the smaller one, now much fainter than its former
companion was seen about 1,500,000 miles in the lead." Sir James
Jeans confirms this: "Six years later [1852], when the comet's
orbit again brought it near to the sun, two pieces were observed
to be one and a half million miles apart." Of that hour when the
twin-comets rode the skies above His prison, Bahá'u'lláh has
written: "I was but a man like others, asleep upon my couch, when
lo, the breezes of the All Glorious [God] were wafted over Me and
taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This is not from
Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-knowing."[F3] Following
this twin-appearance, Sir James Jeans states, "neither of them has
been seen in cometary form, but the place where they ought to be
is occupied by a swarm of millions of meteors, known as the
Andromedid meteors. Occasionally these meet the earth in its
orbit, and make a grand meteoric display." The two comets were no
longer separate comets, but were mingled in one great shower of
light, just as the Faith of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh are not
separate but one in the light which they shed upon the earth. NOTE
FOUR The Báb was from the line of Bani-Hashim. Hashim was the
great-grandfather of Muhammad.[F1] The Báb was also a descendant
of Abraham through Abraham's second wife, Hagar. The Báb was of
the seed of [Isma'il], and through him of the "seed of Abraham."
When Abraham, as is related in the book of Genesis, said unto God:
"O that Ishmael might live before Thee," God replied: "And as for
Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will
make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve
princes shall be beget, and I will make of him a great nation."[F2]

(William Sears, Release the Sun, p. 219)

I also found this account:
During the years between 1834 and 1844, astronomer F. Bessel found that Sirius had wavy irregularities in its motion through space, and came to the conclusion that the star had an invisible companion revolving about it in a period of about 50 years.
c. On March 21, 1844, astronomers discovered that Sirius, the brightest star observable to man, was not one but two stars that orbit one another. Could this have been a sign from the 'visible' heavens of the advent of the two Promised Ones from the 'invisible' heavens?: Know thou verily that many an astronomer hath announced the appearance of its star in the visible heaven. ... before the revelation of each of the Mirrors reflecting the divine Essence, the signs heralding their advent must needs be revealed in the visible heaven as well as in the invisible ... (Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Iqan, pages 65-66)

On a side note: This just passed New Years, there was a Blue Moon and a partial eclipse of that moon!  My friend Cathy, took some beautiful pictures of it and posted them to her website:


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