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Search for tag "Comets"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1843. 5 Feb Great March Comet or Great Comet of 1843 was first "discovered". It passed closest to Earth on March 6, 1843, and was at its greatest brilliance the following day. When at its greatest brilliance, it was visible only from southern latitudes. For a few hours on February 28, it outshone any comet seen in the previous seven centuries. The tail of the comet holds the record for actual extent. It is estimated to have stretched 300 million kilometres (or 2 astronomical units). It was last observed on April 19, 1843. At that time this comet had passed closer to the Sun than any other known object. [Great Comet in History; Notes from Baha'i History; Academic; Wikipedia; Thief in the Night p193-196]

Another comet seemed to reappear at significant times in history. The first recorded sighting for the comet that came to be known as Biela's Comet was made in 1772 with a second appearance in 1805. In 1826 Wilhelm von Biela and others contributed to work to determine that it was indeed the same comet making reappearances in elliptical orbit with an orbital period of 6.6 years.

In the 1845-1846 appearance astronomers were surprised to see that the comet had split into two pieces. By 1852 only one nucleus remained visible. The 1859 apparition was very unfavourable but that of 1865-1866 was more visible. Astronomers believed that the comet had broken up and accounted for an unusual number of meteor showers. At the comet's next return in 1872 a major meteor storm occurred on the 27th of November with hourly rates of 3,000 per hour. Intense meteor displays were also noted in 1885 (15,000/hr), and 1892 (6,000/hr). [Cometography; Thief in the Night p195-196; Release the Sun p217-219]

Comets; Falling stars and comets; Signs
1866. 14 Nov The ‘star-fall' of 1866. [RB2:270, 422–6]
  • The falling of stars was predicted in Matthew 24:29.
  • For Bahá'u'lláh's reference to this see ESW131–2.
  • For the symbolism of falling stars see KI41.
  • See The Delight of Hearts pg87 for an account.
  • The spectacular shower of meteors in the early hours of the morning of 14 November 1866 was observed all over Europe. It was an extraordinary event exciting comment from professional astronomers and laymen alike. The following sample account is from The Times Saturday, 17 November 1866:

    The Rev. Robert Main, the Radcliffe Observer at Oxford, gave the following account of the meteorological phenomenon of Tuesday night last: --

    '...This great display began about 13h. (or 1 o'clock in the morning), and reached its maximum at about 13h.24m., after which time it gradually began to slacken. The watch, however, was kept up till 18h., though after 15h., there were not many meteors seen. In all there were observed not fewer than 3,000 during the night, of which about 2,000 fell between 13h. and 14h., or between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. As to the general appearance of the meteors, it was noticed that the majority of them were of a whitish or yellowish colour. Some, however, were reddish or orange-coloured, and one meteor was noticed to be bluish. The brightest left generally a train behind them, which was to be seen for a few seconds after the meteor disappeared.' (Adapted from ‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah', by Adib Taherzadeh, vol. 2)

  • See Thief in the Night p198 for a list of astronomical events that occurred coincident to Bahá'í history.
  • Falling stars and comets; Signs; Prophecies; Lawh-i-Ibn-i-Dhib (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf); Bible; Christianity

    from the main catalogue

    1. Brief Introduction to Millennial Zeal in the Nineteenth Century, A, by Chris Manvell and Carolyn Sparey-Gillies (1997). Joseph Wolff, William Miller, and millennial zeal in early 19th-century America; biblical proofs of the return of Christ; the appearance of the Báb in Iran. [about]
    2. Institute on Islam, by Peter J. Khan (1971). Transcription of tape #7 which deals with prophecies in the Qur'an, and recordings of a one-weekend group class on Islam in Davenport, Iowa. [about]
    3. Recherche sur les Signes Visibles dans le Ciel de la Venue des Manifestations de Dieu, by Romuald Boubou Moyo (2019). Les annonces des venues des Manifestations de Dieu dans les écrits saints ont à la fois un sens caché et visible. Quels sont les astres célestes qui ont été observés par les scientifiques à l’avènement du Christianisme, de l’Islam, et de la Foi Baha’ie? [about]
    4. Release the Sun, by William Sears (1960). Millennialism gripped many around the world during the early 19th century. While Christians expected the return of Christ, a wave of expectation swept through Islam that the "Lord of the Age" would appear. This is a living history of that period. [about]
    5. Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, by William Sears (1961). In the early 19th-century there was world-wide and fervent expectation that during the 1840s the return of Christ would take place. Did this happen, or was it all a dream? [about]
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