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The Historical Accounts of Prophetic Environmental Events

Lest we forget, let us be reminded once more of the sources.

The 3AM
The Character of God
The Great Earthquake of 1755
The Dark Day of 1780
The Moon as Blood
The Great Leonid Meteorshower of 1833
Future Fire Coming Down from Heaven
The Heavens Depart Like a Scroll
What about the Purpose of these Events
Notes & References
Prophetic Chart


Some of the most impressive phenomena experienced by previous generations over large areas in the world have seemingly been forgotten. Their impact ascribed to mere chance events. And yet, for over 1750 years before the first until to the fourth event some 80 years later, these had been described and known about. After the occurrence of the Lisbon earthquake, the Dark Day and the night in which the moon shun like blood, up to the Leonid meteor shower in 1833 many looked to the written record and recognized the exact sequence, the very order of these events came about just like outlined so many years before by the prophets and Jesus Christ himself.[5] But the pulpits are silent on the harbingers of these and yet even more momentous events, reserved for the near future, which will shake up a world living a life of dreams that everything is fine. But the Lord has a cause to complete and is now ready to prepare humanity for His Second Coming. Events are drawing the attention of the world now toward the truths revealed in His Word, and there is starting to be a famine for it. People will run to and fro and try to find a Bible which many have gotten rid of, thinking they would never want to see one again. These prophecies Rome and its puppets decided to hide from the public. As a consequence theological, educational institutions will not equip their graduates and clergy candidates with a keen knowledge and faith in these events. But it is His Word which will open for us the future, a future which will cut short the curse of sin in this world and usher in God's Eternal Kingdom. But we shall present some aspects of some of these phenomena which are like markers on the way to the concluding events of this world's history. We are told that for God a thousand years are like a day and we must not forget the past, even the recent past, which many may think of long gone. Well, on God's watch, mere seconds flashed away since 1755 A.D.

And so we are reminded of the words:

  1. "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." Joel 2:10

  2. "The moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed." Isaiah 24:23.

  3. "And nation shall rise against nation ... and there shall be famines ... and earthquakes ...
    Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."
    Matthew 24:7, 29

  4. "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Luke 21:25-27

  5. "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath: blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come." Acts 2:19-20
Famine in a land of plenty? That this happens can be seen in the wake of Hurricane Katrina from Monday morning, August 27, 2005, how the storm surge destroyed so much and leaves people stranded without food and clean water in the midst of a land of plenty. Such disasters may include famine, which in turn may result in times of economical hardship. Businesses are destroyed, people are left without an income and loss of resources may inflate prices. When Jesus spoke to a large Jewish audience about the signs of the end, including the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, the Jews thought the signs were tokens of their release from bondage to the Romans. They thought only of themselves, but Jesus was speaking of signs of their destruction. What happens to nations in our days, are these signs judgments of God?[20]

"And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken by a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and every island were moved out of their places..." Revelation 6:12-14

Only recently we were reminded of the awesome powers stored inside the earth. The Indonesian megaquake can only be compared to the one we shortly present once more. Let us read now the eyewitness newscasts of those on location in those days.

The Great Earthquake of 1755

In 1755 a big wave struck Lisbon, Portugal, following an estimated 8.7M earthquake that reduced that nation's shipping industry and navy to a shambles overnight.[50]

The event of the earthquake disrupted significantly Portugal's 18th century colonial ambitions.

"Among the earth movements which in historic times have affected the kingdom of Portugal, that of Friday, November 1st, 1755, takes first rank, as it does, also, in some respects, among all recorded earthquakes .... In six minutes sixty thousand people perished." [100]

"The Lisbon earthquake of Nov. 1, 1755, appears to have put both the theologians and philosophers on the defensive ... At twenty minutes to ten that morning, Lisbon was firm and magnificent, on one of the most picturesque and commanding sites in the world, - a city of superb approach, placed precisely where every circumstance had concurred to say to the founders, Build here! In six minutes the city was in ruins ... Half the world felt the convulsion ... For many weeks, as we see in the letters and memoirs of that time, people in distant parts of Europe went to bed in alarm, relieved in the morning to find that they had escaped the fate of Lisbon one more night." [200]

Dunkler Tag
Mond wie Blut
Lisbon from across the bay
Lisbon "My heart oppress'd demands
Aid of the God who formed me with his hands.
Sons of the God supreme to suffer all
Fated alike, we on our Father call ...
Sad is the present if no future state
No blissful retribution mortals wait,
If fate's decrees the thinking being doom
To lose existence in the silent tomb.
All may be well; that hope can man sustain.
All now is well; `tis an illusion vain.
The sages held me forth delusive light,
Divine instructions only can be right.
Humbly I sigh, submissive suffer pain,
Nor more the ways of Providence arraign." [300]

"The effects were distributed over very nearly four millions of square English miles of the earth's surface, and greatly surpassed anything of the kind ever recorded in history." [400]

"Almost all the palaces and large churches were rent down, or part fallen, and scarce one house of this vast city is left habitable. Everybody that was not crushed to death ran out into the large places, and those near the river ran down to save themselves by boats, or any other floating convenience, running, crying, and calling to the ships for assistance; but whilst the multitude were gathered near the riverside, the water rose to such height (ca. 50 feet) within minutes that it overflowed the lower part of the city, which so terrified the miserable and already dismayed inhabitants, who ran to and fro with dreadful cries, which we heard plainly on board, that it made them believe the dissolution of the world was at hand; everyone falling on his knees and entreating the Almighty for His assistance ... By two o'clock the ships' boats began to ply, and took multitudes on board ... The fear, the sorrow, the cries and lamentations of the poor inhabitants are inexpressible; every one begging pardon, and embracing each other, crying. Forgive me, friend, sister! Oh! what will become of us! neither water nor land will protect us, and the third element, fire, seems now to threaten our total destruction! as in effect it happened. The conflagration lasted a whole week." [500]

"The shock (of the earthquake) was instantly followed by the fall of every church and convent, almost all the large public buildings, and more than one fourth of the houses. In about two hours after the shock, fires broke out in different quarters, and raged with such violence for the space of nearly three days, that the city was completely desolated. The earthquake happened on a holiday, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of them escaped. ... The terror of the people was beyond description. Nobody wept; it was beyond tears. They ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment, beating their faces and breasts, crying, `Misericordia! the world's at an end?'" [550]

A comparison of old maps with modern maps of the Tagus/Tejo River and `Bay of Lisbon' or, as it was also called, the `Bay of Oeiras' seems to indicate that it had undergone significant changes. [570] The depth of the water at Lisbon seems to be between 20 - 100 meters in average. We are not aware if any underwater explorations revealed the consequences of the earthquake.

"In Africa, this earthquake was felt almost as severely as it had been in Europe. A great part of the city of Algiers was destroyed. Many houses were thrown down at Fez and Mequinez, and multitudes were buried beneath their ruins. Similar effects were realized in Morocco. Its effects were likewise felt at Tangier, at Tetuan, at Funchal in the Island of Madeira; ... it is probable ... that all Africa was shaken by this tremendous convulsion. At the North, it extended to Norway and Sweden; Germany, Holland, France, Great Britain, and Ireland were all more or less agitated by the same great and terrible commotion of the elements." [600]

Sir Charles Lyell wrote the following graphic description of the event:

"In no part of the volcanic region of Southern Europe has so tremendous an earthquake occurred in modern times as that which began on the 1st of November, 1755, at Lisbon. A sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterwards a violent shock threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes, sixty thousand persons perished. The sea retired, and laid the bar dry; it then rolled in, rising fifty feet above ordinary level. ... Among other extraordinary events related to have occurred at Lisbon during the catastrophe was the subsidence of a new quay, built entirely of marble, at an immense expense. A great concourse of people had collected there for safety, as a spot where they might be beyond the reach of falling ruins; but suddenly the quay sank down with all the people on it, and not one of the dead bodies ever floated to the surface. [650]
The mountains of Arrabida, Estrella, Julio, Marvan, and Cintra, being some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations; and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the subjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains, which are supposed to have been electric; they are also said to have smoked; but vast clouds of dust may have given rise to this appearance ...
The great area over which this Lisbon earthquake extended is very remarkable. The movement was most violent in Spain, Portugal, and the north of Africa; but nearly the whole of Europe, and even the West Indies, felt the shock on the same day. A seaport called St. Ubes, about twenty miles south of Lisbon, was engulfed. At Algiers and Fez, in Africa, the agitation of the earth was equally violent, and at the distance of eight leagues from Morocco, a village, with the inhabitants to the number of about eight or ten thousand persons, together with all their cattle, were [was] swallowed up. Soon after, the earth closed again over them.
The shock was felt at sea, on the deck of a ship to the west of Lisbon, and produced very much the same sensation as on dry land. Off St. Lucar [s], the captain of the ship `Nancy' felt his vessel shaken so violently that he thought she had struck the ground, but, on heaving the lead, found a great depth of water. Captain Clark, from Denia, in latitude 36 24' N., between nine and ten in the morning, had his ship shaken and strained as if she had struck upon a rock. Another ship, forty leagues west of St. Vincent, experienced so violent a concussion that the men were thrown a foot and a half perpendicularly up from the deck. In Antigua and Barbados, as also in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Corsica, Switzerland, and Italy, tremors and slight oscillations of the ground were felt.
The agitation of lakes, rivers, and springs in Great Britain was remarkable. At Loch Lemmond, in Scotland, for example, the water, without the least apparent cause, rose against its banks, and then subsided below its usual level. The greatest perpendicular height of this swell was two feet four inches. It is said that the movement of this earthquake was undulatory, and that it traveled at the rate of twenty miles a minute. A great wave swept over the coast of Spain, and is said to have been sixty feet at Cadiz. At Tangier, in Africa, it rose and fell eighteen times on the coast; at Funchal, in Madeira, it rose full fifteen feet perpendicular above high-water mark, although the tide, which ebbs and flows there seven feet, was then at half ebb. Besides entering the city and committing great havoc, it overflowed other seaports in the island. At Kinsale, in Ireland, a body of water rushed into the harbor, whirled round several vessels, and poured into the market-place." [700]

"Calm was the sky; the sun serenely bright
Shot o'er the sea long dazzling streams of light.
Through orange groves soft breathing breezes play'd
And gathered sweets like bees where'er they stray'd.
In fair relievo stood the lofty town,
Set off by radiant lights and shadows brown.

Ill-fated city! there were revels kept;
Devoid of fear, they ate, they drank, they slept.
No friendly voice like that of ancient Rome
Was sent to give them warning of their doom:
No airy warriors to each other clung,
Such as 'tis said o'er destin'd Sion hung;
But like a nightly thief their dreadful fate
Unlooked for came and undermined their state ...

Lo, what a sudden change! On ruin's brink
The proud turn humble, and the thoughtless think.
Dark, gloomy sadness overclouds the gay,
And hypocrites for once sincerely pray ...
But let it not be though their horrid deeds
Had pulled this dreadful judgments on their heads,
Or that for crimes too horrible to tell,
Like guilty Sodom, thunderstruck they fell ...

Who can with curious eyes this globe survey,
And not behold it tottering with decay?
All things created, God's designs fulfill,
And natural causes work His destined will.
And that eternal Word, which cannot lie,
To mortals hath revealed in prophecy
That in these latter days such signs should come,
Preludes and prologues to the general doom.
But not the Son of man can tell that day;
Then, lest it find you sleeping, watch and pray." [800]

In 1835 George Burrow, English Bible Society rep, voyages to Lisbon. He states that Lisbon was still "a huge ruinous city, still exhibiting in almost every direction the vestiges of that terrific visitation of God, the earthquake, which shattered it some eighty years ago. It stands on seven hills, the loftiest of which is occupied by the castle of Saint George, which is the boldest and most prominent object to the eye, whilst surveying the city from the Tagus. The most frequented and busy parts of the city are those comprised within the valley to the north of the elevation. - Here you find the Plaza of the Inquisition, the principal square of Lisbon (the modern Praca de Commercio), from which run parallel towards the river three of four streets, amongst which are those of the gold and silver, so designated from being inhabited by smiths cunning in the working of those metals; they are upon the whole very magnificent; the houses are huge and as high as castles; immense pillars defend the causeway at intervals, producing, however, a cumbrous effect. ... With all its ruins and desolation, Lisbon is unquestioningly the most remarkable city in the Peninsula, and, perhaps, in the south of Europe." ... Citra, located on the other, eastern side of the Lisbon mountain "is a mingled scene of fairy beauty, artificial elegance, savage grandeur, domes, turrets, enormous trees, flowers, and waterfalls, such as met with nowhere else beneath the sun." The "grey palace witnessed the assemblage of the last cortes held by the boy king Sebastian of Portugal (1554-1578) - killed during an expedition against Morocco at the battle of Alcazarquivir - ere he departed on his romantic expedition against the Moors." [820]
One cannot help but recall the bloody past of this nation and what the word of God says about such.

Friday, May 19, 1780 - The Dark Day

"The extent of the darkness was very remarkable ... From the accounts that have been received, it seems to have extended all over the New England States. It was observed as far east as Falmouth [Portland, Maine]. To the westward, we hear of its reaching to the furthest parts of Connecticut, and Albany. To the southward, it was observed all along the seacoasts. And to the north as far as our settlements extend." [850]

This was the first celestial sign of a series of signs which encouraged the students of Bible prophecy at a critical time, following centuries of the oppression of Biblical truths, which only begun to be lifted with the reformation. Christ said to the fourth church of Thyatira, the church of the reformation era, "I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye already have hold fast till I come." Rev. 2:25. That is how merciful God is. He measures out to humanity its burdens of life, and no burden is made heavier than can be borne. `Only hold fast till I come', were His words of encouragement for those during that reformation time. To others, more accustomed to the light, the truths found in the Word of God, would greater truths be made known. To those companies of believers who heeded these words of Christ, was given the torch of truth, Matth. 5:14,15; Zech. 12:6. As a signal light on a hill, seen from afar, the light shone from the valleys of the Piedmont, near Trient, north-west Italy. Many came in contact with this light, and soon the Bible gospel message lit fires throughout Europe, for, "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." Rev. 2:26. God's Truth was bound to triumph, though trampled to the ground for over a thousand years. At last the faithful ones will reign as kings. The hand of the oppressor will be broken to pieces like a potter's vessel. There was a time when the clay was soft and could be shaped and molded; but as the fires of persecution kindled, those who remained hardened in sin became so set that any attempt to change them resulted in breaking them to pieces. "I will give them the morning star" Rev. 2:28. Jesus Christ is the morning star, and the faithful ones at the close of the years of persecution were told to lift up their heads, for their "redemption draweth nigh" Luke 21:28. Thus Thyatira was the first church which is pointed forward to the Second Coming of Christ. The message to the faithful in this church is in harmony with the Psalmist's words, "My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning." Psalm 130:6, the double emphasize which we ought to remember in the quickly coming days of trials.

We ought to remember that, as the experiences of Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamos, will be repeated in the last church of Laodicea just before the second coming of Christ - our very own days today - so the history of Thyatira will have its counterpart in this generation and we can see it happen already now. The power of Jezebal will again be felt. What was once done by a church and state will be followed by laws compelling obedience to man-made laws, instead of the laws of God. The law of God will be emphatically trampled underfoot; for a church with civil power always works the works of Jezebel. Just as Elijah fled before ancient Jezebel, so those proclaiming the last warning message, of which Elijah was a type, will be persecuted by this power. This message was impressed for us today by the words, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 2:29.

But, returning to the dark day in 1780, "With regard to its duration, it continued in this place at least fourteen hours: but it is probable this was not exactly the same in different parts of the country. The appearance and effects were such as tended to make the prospect extremely dull and gloomy. Candles were lighted up in the houses; the birds having sung their evening songs, disappeared, and became silent; the fowls retired to roost; the cocks were crowing all around as at break of day; objects could not be distinguished but at a very little distance; and everything bore the appearance and gloom of night." [900]

"Twas on a May day of the far old year
Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
Over the bloom and sweet life of the spring,
Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
A horror of great darkness

Birds ceased to sing, and all the barnyard fowls
Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars
Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings
Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
To hear the doom blast of the trumpet shatter
The black sky." [1000]

"The Dark Day, May 19, 1780 -- so-called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England ... The obscuration began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with difference and duration in different places ... The true cause of this remarkable phenomena is not known." [1100]

"About eleven o'clock the darkness was such as to demand our attention, and put us upon making observations. At half past eleven, in a room with three windows, twenty-four panes each, all open toward the southeast and south, large print could not be read by persons of good eyes. [1200]

About twelve o'clock, the windows being still open, a candle cast a shade so well defined on the wall, as that profiles were taken with as much ease as they could have been in the night."
"About one o'clock a glint of light which had continued to this time in the east, shut in, and the darkness was greater than it had been for any time before ... We dined about two, the windows all open, and two candles burning on the table.
In the time of the greatest darkness some of the ... fowls went to their roost. Cocks crowed in answer to one another as they commonly do in the night. Woodcocks, which are night birds, whistled as they do only in the dark. Frogs peeped. In short, there was the appearance of midnight at noonday.
About three o'clock the light in the west increased, the motion of the clouds [became] more quick, their color higher and more brassy than at any time before. There appeared to be quick flashes or coruscations, not unlike the aurora borealis ... About half past four our company, which had passed an unexpected night very cheerfully together, broke up." [1300]
"Perhaps it never was darker since the children of Israel left the house of bondage. This gross darkness held till about one o'clock, although the moon had fulled but the day before." [1400]

"During the whole time a sickly, melancholy gloom overcast the face of nature. Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible, but by the help of some artificial light, which when seen from the neighboring house and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness, which seemed almost impervious to rays." [1450]

"This unusual phenomenon excited the fears and apprehensions of many people. Some considered it as a portentous omen of the wrath of Heaven in vengeance denounced against the land, others as the immediate harbinger of the last day, when `the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.'

Various have been the sentiments of people concerning the designs of Providence in spreading the unusual darkness over us. Some suppose it portentous of the last scene. I wish it may have some good effect on the minds of the wicked, and that they may be excited to prepare for that solemn day." [1500]

"That the darkness was not caused by an eclipse is manifest by the various positions of our system at that time; for the moon was more than one hundred fifty degrees from the sun all that day." [1600]

Dr. Stearns continues in the language of his time:

"The primary cause must be imputed to Him that walketh through the circuit of heaven, who stretcheth out the heaven like a curtain, who maketh the clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind. It was He, at whose voice the stormy winds are obedient, that commanded these exhalations to be collected and condensed together, that with them He might darken both the day and the night; which darkness was, perhaps, not only a token of His indignation against the crying iniquities and abominations of the people, but an omen of some future destruction." [1650]

The early records of New York City tell of the interest excited there, though evidently the darkness was not so marked as it was farther north.

"The legislature of Connecticut was then in session in Hartford. A very general opinion prevailed that the day of judgment was at hand. The house of representatives, being unable to transact their business, adjourned. A proposal to adjourn the council [a second legislative body called the Governor's Council] was under consideration. When the opinion of Colonel Davenport was asked, he answered, `I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.'" [1700]

It was this striking incident that Whittier described in this poem:

"Meanwhile in the old Statehouse, dim as ghosts,
Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut, Trembling beneath their legislative robes.
`It is the Lord's great day! Let us adjourn,'
Some said; and then, as with one acord,
All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice
The intolerable hush. `This well may be
The day of judgment which the world awaits;
But be it so or not, I only know
My present duty, and my Lord's command
To occupy till He come. So at the post
Where He hath set me in His providence
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face, -
No faithless servant, frightened from my task,
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls;
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say,
Let God do His work, we will see to ours.
Bring in the candles.'" [1800]

The dark Day

After the great Lisbon earthquake, the Bible says the sun would become "black as sackcloth of hair" Rev. 6:12. The well known American astronomer Herschel said about this dark day, "The Dark Day, May 19, 1780 - so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England ... The true cause of this phenomenon is not known. ... The dark day in Northern America was one of those wonderful phenomena of nature which will always be read of with interest, but which philosophy is at a loss to explain." [1850]

The Moon Became as Blood

The `Dark Day' was followed by the event in which the moon became as blood. The night of May 19, 1780 was as unusual as the day had been.

"The darkness of the following evening was probably as gross as ever has The moonbeen observed since the Almighty fiat gave birth to light ... I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes, was equally as invisible as the blackest velvet." [1900]

When this dark day came, by 10 o'clock in the morning the chickens came back on their roost and by noon time the cows had come in for their milking which normally would have occurred at about 6 or 7 o'clock in the evening that time of the year. On the streets of the eastern seaboard folks by eleven o'clock in the morning were bumping into one another and there were accidents with buggies and with horses and the editors said, `Surely, we are in the end time.'

Whenever the moon did appear, as for short moments it did, it had the appearance of blood.

The `Falling Stars' of 1833

Thomas Milner, the English Scientist, who called the `Falling of the Stars' the most splendid on record (p. 139):

"In many districts, the mass of the population were terror-struck, and the more enlightened were awed at contemplating so vivid a picture of the apocalyptic image - that of the stars of heaven falling to earth, even as a fig tree casting her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." [2000]

"We pronounce the raining fire which we saw on Wednesday morning last an awful type, a sure forerunner, a merciful sign, of that great and dreadful day which the inhabitants of the earth will witness when the sixth seal shall be opened.
That time is just at hand described not only in the New Testament but in the Old; and a more correct picture of a fig tree casting its leaves when blown by a mighty wind, it was not possible to behold.
Many new things now occurring upon the earth tend to convince us that we are in the "latter days." This exhibition we deem to be a type of awful day fast hurrying upon us. This is our sincere opinion; and what we think, we are not ashamed to tell." [2050]

"On the night of Tuesday/Wednesday, November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the earth. North America bore the brunt of its pelting. From the Gulf of Mexico to Halifax, until daylight with some difficulty put an end to the display; the sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs.

Once for all, then, as the result of the star fall of 1833, the study of luminous meteors became an integral part of astronomy." [2100]

Other observers from Georgia and Kentucky were quoted as saying:

Artist's impression of the Meteor Shower of November 13, 1833 "Everybody felt that it was the judgment, and that the end of the world had come." and "In every direction I could hear men, women, and children screaming, `The judgment day is come!"

"The attention of astronomers in Europe, and all over the world, was, as may be imagined, strongly roused by intelligence of this celestial display on the Western continent." [2200]

The closest observations were made by Professor Denison Olmsted, professor of astronomy at Yale, who wrote:

"The morning of November 13, 1833, was rendered memorable by an exhibition of the phenomenon called shooting stars, which was probably more extensive and magnificent than any one hitherto recorded. ... Probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class. For some time after the occurrence, the `meteoric phenomenon' was the principal topic of conversation in every circle." [2300]

D. Almsted/Olmsted, is also quoted as writing, "To form some idea of the phenomenon, the reader may imagine a constant succession of fireballs, resembling rockets, radiating in all directions from a point in the heavens. . . . [There were] meteors of various sizes and degrees of splendor: some were mere points of light but others were larger than Jupiter or Venus." [2302]

The astronomer, Professor Simon Newcomb declared this phenomenal exhibition of `falling stars' to have been "the most remarkable one ever observed." [2400]

"... the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such an intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another." "Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds ... Artist's view of the meteor shower of 1833Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. ... The display, as described in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. ... From two o'clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens." [2450]

"I witnessed this gorgeous spectacle, and was awe-struck. The air seemed filled with bright descending messengers from the sky. It was about daybreak when I saw this sublime scene. It was not without the suggestion at that moment that it might be the harbinger of the coming of the Son of man; and in my state of mind I was prepared to hail him as my friend and deliverer. I had read that the "stars shall fall from heaven," and they were now falling. I was suffering much in my mind. . . . I was beginning to look away to heaven for the rest denied me on earth." [Frederick A. Douglass, `My Bondage and My Freedom', New York: Orton and Milligan, 1855, p. 186.]

"No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; ... no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightening, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted - thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion." [2470]

This was not merely a display of an unusual number of falling stars, such as Humboldt observed in South America in 1799, or such as we find recorded of other times before and since. It was a "shower" of falling stars, a spectacle.

The French astronomer Flammarion says of the density of the shower:

"The Boston observer, Olmsted, compared them, at the moment of maximum, to half the number of flakes which we perceive in the air during an ordinary shower of snow." [2500]

Dr. Humphreys, president of St. John's College, Annapolis, said of the appearance at the Maryland capital:

"During the period just previous to the dawn, it was observed by many intelligent persons in the city, whose statements coincide most perfectly, as to the almost infinite number of the meteors. In the words of most, they fell like flakes of snow." [2600]

Professor Alexander Twining, civil engineer, "late tutor in Yale College", wrote:

"Had they held on their course unabated for three seconds longer, half a continent must, to all appearance, have been involved in unheard-of calamity. But that almighty Being who made the world, and knew its dangers, gave it also its armature - endowing the atmospheric medium around it with protecting, no less than with life-sustaining, properties...
Considered as one of the rare and wonderful displays of the Creator's preserving care, as well as the terrible magnitude and power of His agencies, it is not meet that such occurrences as those of November 13 should leave no more solid and permanent effect upon the human mind than the impression of a splendid scene." [2700]

Today's scholars and actually everyone on earth ought to be reminded of something pertinent. A correspondent of the Journal of Commerce, draws the picture as it was seen nearly 1800 centuries later, the likeness to the prophetic description being emphasized in every line:

"No philosopher or scholar has told or recorded an event like that of yesterday morning. A prophet eighteen hundred years ago foretold it exactly, if we will be at the trouble of understanding stars falling to mean falling stars."

And the same writer noted the special appropriateness of the prophet's figure of the fig tree casting the green figs in a mighty wind:

"It rained fire! It was like a shower of fire. It was like the large flakes of falling snow before a coming storm, or large drops of rain before a shower. -- The stars of heaven fell unto the earth. -- Here is the exactness of the prophet. The falling stars did not come as if from several trees shaken, but from one. Those which appeared in the east fell toward the east: those which appeared in the north fell toward the north; those which appeared in the west fell toward the west; and those which appeared in the south (for I went out of my residence into the park) fell toward the south; and they fell not as ripe fruit falls; far from it; but they flew, they were cast, like the unripe fig, which at first refuses to leave the branch; and when it does break its hold, flies swiftly, straight off, descending; and in the multitude falling, some across the track of others, as they are thrown with more or less force. - - Such was the appearance of the above phenomenon to the inmates of my house. I walked into the park with two gentlemen of Pearl Street, feeling and confessing that this scene had never been figured to our minds by any book or mortal, save only by the prophet." [2800]

Professor Olmsted's long and carefully elaborated account in the American Journal of Science, gave a report from a correspondent in Bowing Green, Mo., as follows:

"Though there was no moon, when we first observed them, their brilliancy was so great that we could, at times, read common-sized print without much difficulty, and the light which they afforded was much whiter than that of the moon, in the clearest and coldest night, when the ground is covered with snow. The air itself, the face of the earth as far as we could behold it, all the surrounding objects, and the very countenances of men, wore the aspect and hue of death, occasioned by the continued, pallid glare of these countless meteors, which in all their grandeur flamed `lawless through the sky'.
There was a grand and indescribable gloom on all around, an awe-inspiring sublimity on all above; while -
`The sanguine flood
Rolled a broad slaughter o'er the plains of heaven,
And nature's self did seem to totter on the brink of time!'
... There was scarcely a space in the firmament which was not filled at every instant with these falling stars, nor on it could you in general perceive any particular difference in appearance; still at times they seemed to shower down in groups - calling to mind the fig tree, casting her untimely figs when shaken by a mighty wind." [2900]

The Display of 1833 was incomparably the greatest.
Probably the most remarkable of all the meteoric showers that have ever occurred was that of the Leonids, on the [night following] November 12, 1833. The number at some stations was estimated as high as 200,000 an hour for five or six hours. "The sky was as full of them as it ever is of snowflakes in a storm," and as an old lady described it, it looked "like a gigantic umbrella."
In 1864 Professor Newton of New Haven showed by an examination of the old records that there had been a number of great meteoric showers in November, at intervals of thirty-three or thirty-four years, and he predicted confidently a repetition of the shower on November 13 or 14, 1866. The shower occurred as predicted, and was observed in Europe. It was described as follows, "There, for the next two or three hours, we witnessed a spectacle which can never fade from my memory. The shooting stars gradually increased in number until sometimes several were seen at once." [Sir Robert Ball & Lord Rosse, Story of the Heavens,', p. 380.] Grand as the spectacle was, it was but a reminder, apparently, of the star shower of 1833, and it was followed by another in 1867, which was visible in America, the meteoric swarm being extended in so long a procession as to require more than two years to cross the orbit. Neither of these showers, however, was equal to the shower of 1833. The researches of Newton, supplemented by those of Adams, the discoverer of Neptune, showed that the swarm moves in a long ellipse with a thirty-three year period.
A return of the shower was expected in 1899 or 1900, but failed to appear, though on November 14-15, 1898, a considerable number of meteors were seen, and in the early morning of November 14-15, 1901, a well-marked shower occurred, visible over the whole extent of the United States, but best seen west of the Mississippi, and especially on the Pacific Coast. At a number of stations several hundred Leonids were observed by eye or by photography, and the total number that fell must be estimated by tens or thousands. The display, however, seems to have nowhere rivaled the showers of 1866-67, and these were not to be compared with that of 1833." [2950]

"On about August 11 of each year, the earth passes through a swarm of particles that approach from the direction of Perseus. In 1866, it was observed that the particles producing this Perseid Shower travel in an orbit that is almost identical to that of Comet 1862 II.

Another "... good example is provided by the Leonid meteors in the last century, when the earth met the debris of Comet 1866 I in 1833 and again in 1866. Those were among the most spectacular showers recorded. As many as 200,000 meteors could be seen from one place within a span of a few hours. Even in such dense swarms the individual particles of the swarm are separated by a distance of 20 miles or more; in most swarms, the particles are more than 100 miles apart." [3000]

`The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.' Matt. 24:29.
In 1833, . . . the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus, "The stars shall fall from heaven." And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God, "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; "the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another." "Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o'clock until broad daylight, . . . an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens." [3050]

Agnes Clerke said, "We can no longer count upon the Leonids (as the meteorites of 1833 were called, because they seemed to fall from a point in the constellation of Leo). Their glory, for scenic purposes is departed." [3060]
Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming, concerning which Jesus bade His disciples, "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." After these signs, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll, while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the presence of the Son of man.
But the day and the hour of His coming Christ has not revealed. . . . The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God's mystery.

Another meteoric source was seen just recently in Alaska [3100]

Man will make Fire Come Down from Heaven

What this `Fire Coming Down' represents remains to be seen but with repeatable space flights it does not take much faith to realize that man could produce such a show in order to amaze the people on earth and steer them toward probably a wicked goal, to achieve some no good objective.

"And he does great wonders, so that he causes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." Revelation 13:13.

The Heavens Depart Like A Scroll

One of the next, amazing celestial events is spoken of as `the departing of the heavens like a scroll' - fast, completely, and worldwide. This event will cause the same type of heart searching reactions of people everywhere as we learned from the events described above. All of a sudden the careless about God will remember hearing something about a judgment day or the Second Coming which they formerly dismissed from their mind. But the scrolling away of the firmament will help to make their conscience come alive once more, and the power of God will be a source of consternation for some, or welcoming love for others, depending on whose side people placed themselves.

Even though not perceived by those without God in their lives, the departing of the heavens like a scroll is caused by the voice of God Himself, as He speaks from His Throne like He spoke His Law from the top of Mt. Sinai in Arabia. Then will the earth real to and fro, shaken to its very depths, and the heavens will flee from everywhere, and their cover be removed. Mountains will move from their foundations and thrust their ragged shapes through the ground, Islands will suddenly change their location in the sea. The most unexpected convulsions will cause the direst fear and confusion in all of nature and its creatures. This phenomena is still future, for we read:

"And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." Revelation 6:14; Isaiah 34:4.

"Whose voice shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying: Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." Hebrews 12:25-27.

"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying: It is done." Revelation 16:17; Isaiah 24:19-20.

Second Coming

Question: What causes falling stars? Answer: The above account does not explain God and nature, it just presents eye witness accounts to the past events. But we do believe that God is omniscient - He knows it all.

What Was the Purpose of these Environmental Events Foretold in the Word of God?

The frequent mention in several Bible books, leads us to state that these events were meant to be a wake-up call for the world, and especially the Bible using churches in the world to study Bible prophecy, especially as it relates to the end of time, just before Jesus Comes Again, so they will be ready to receive Him, for He comes like a devouring fire for the ungodly.

Yet, history shows that the nominal churches, did basically little or nothing to check their doctrines if they are Biblical or if they are not. Some of the plainest scriptures are despised by them, and they care nothing about solid Bible truths like adult baptism, the Lord's Supper and foot washing, that the dead are really dead until one of the two (See here) resurrection days, that the 7th day Sabbath is God's holy day still, and in particular were these `wake-up' calls designed to draw attention to the end of the prophetic 2300 year/days to draw attention to Christ's priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary designed to cleanse that sanctuary from all accumulated and recorded sins of earth's sinners from the books of heaven, so they can be saved and be ready to receive Jesus when He comes in might and power to redeem His people from this sin filled earth into the pure heaven, until judged, purged and recreated anew.

Notes & References

[5] According to this dated offline report, a lone meteorite crashed into a doctors office building in Virginia Monday, January 18, 2010. It arrived at an estimated 200 miles per hour and sounded like a book shelf falling over. The half pound, fist size rock went through the roof and ceiling and ended up in the examination room in the evening when only the doctor was upstairs on a Monday in Lorton, VA. The stone struck the Lorton, Va office of Dr. Frank Ciampi, a general practice physician, on Monday evening while he was on the second concrete floor of his two-story building splitting it apart into several pieces. Many people said they saw the chondrite type rock as a brilliant fireball streak through the sky. The stone is the fourth known meteorite falling in Virginia. The first report was made in 1878, the most recent in 1924.

[020] Does the Bible as the Word of God predict earthquakes? Evolutionists today are trying hard to show how strange of an idea that is. But they have not studied much of Bible prophecy. They speak their own mind in preconceived doubt and disbelief. As such we can ignore their doubts. The above Bible quotations speak of an earthquake, without specifying where it would take place, except to say `in various places' which has been understood to mean a sharply escalating increase in earthquake activities. Since records are being kept such a sharp increase in significant force quakes is certainly indicated. It is presented as the first event ushering in events which in God's foresight, signal the approaching time of the end of the world to be replaced by God's eternal, heavenly kingdom. - We publish those quakes we run across by chance and publish them year by year here.

[050] The awesome warning is known ever since the book was written. Will it ever happen? Will the Lisbon disaster ever be repeated, over larger areas or worldwide? When? The warning includes that 1/3 of all ships will be destroyed. We may not be able to grasp what is still to come. Who has ears let him hear (Rev. 8:8,9). More and more the world is acting as if the claims of God are of no consequence. Men have become bold in transgression. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost filled up the measure of their iniquity. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human healing balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God's purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. At the present time, when the end of all things earthly is rapidly approaching, Satan is putting forth desperate efforts to ensnare the world. He is devising many plans to occupy minds and to divert attention from the truths essential to salvation. In every city his agencies are busily organizing into parties those who are opposed to the law of God. The archdeceiver is at work to introduce elements of confusion and rebellion, and men are being fired with a zeal that is not according to knowledge. - For remember, when Jesus spoke of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, he spoke of the destruction of the Jewish state even though his listeners did not comprehend it. - Conversely we realize that Islam also does not feature significantly in Bible prophecy. It is not Islam which we should watch for as much as it is the man of sin, according to the Bible.
Note: Since this last sentence was written, it appears that the biggest church on earth may use Islamic Jihad and other foreigners, as they used the sword of the state through its kings, counts, dukes and princes in ages past, to destroy God's people. Worldwide they have killed thousands of Christians every year. There may be a day when they come into congregations to destroy them until God puts a stop to it. But we know, those who try to save their life will lose it and those who lose for Christ's sake will find it (eternal life), Matth. 16:25.
Well, may be I try to keep track of some of these disasters for a while. Appreciate your help if I overlook something. Just enter it very briefly in a letter in plain text format.
April-May 2008 - Many tornadoes in the midwestern to eastern states in America.
May ??, 2008 - Chilean volcano sending much volcanic dust and debris into the air.
May 9, 2008 - Cyclone hits Myanmar (Burma). A human tragedy unfolds.
May 12, 2008 - 7.8 quake in western China, at least 55,000 perished, many little school children ... data still being collected. (Entered 5/12/08)
May 22, 08 - Great fire in the St. Cruz mountains because one had a burn permit and used it under windy conditions.
May 22, 08 - 1 mile wide tornado north of Denver, Colorado. Up to 200 mile an hour winds, 1 person perished.
May 23, 08 - Southern California twister along freeway overturns truck stacker trailers and 13 units of a train.

[100] W.H. Hobbs (geologist), Earthquakes, p. 142.143. See also `http://www.drgeorgepc.com/Tsunami1755Lisbon.html'.

[200] James Parton, Life of Voltaire, Vol. II, pp. 208, 209.

[300] Voltaire, Poem on the Destruction of Lisbon, Smollte's translation; Works, Vol. XXXIII, ed. 1761.

[400] The Historian Course in, History and Philosophy of Earthquakes, London, 1757, p. 333,334.

[500] Liverpool, 1756, pp. 72-74.; See, `Hunter's Historical Account of Earthquakes', p. 72-74.

[550] Encyclopedia Americana, article `Lisbon', note (ed. 1831).

[570] See `http://www.gracegalleries.com/images/S&P/S&P101.jpg'.

[600] Robert Sears, Wonders of the World, p. 58.

[650] Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495.

[700] A.R. Spofford and Charles Gibbon, The Library of Choice Literature, Vol. VII, pp. 162, 163.

[800] John Biddolf, Book of Verses. Actually these environmental events are not harbingers of doom but rather more so, harbingers of salvation.

[820] Borrow, George, `The Bible in Spain', London, 1959, p. 3-6. William Beckford (1760-1844) of Fonthill lived for two years at Quinta da Monserrate, 3 miles from Cintra, after his retirement from the English Parliament in 1794. About 200 years ago, many thought ignorantly of the Bible as `the old monkish book', instead, some would value the writings of Jeremy Bentham, but at CIAS we shall always value the Bible, the word of God.

[850] William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the U.S.A., Vol. III, p. 57.

[900] Samuel Williams, An Account of a Very Uncommon Darkness in the States of New England, May 19, 1780 in Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, 1785, pp. 234-246. See also R.M. Devens, Our First Century (Springfield, MA: Time-Life Books, 1990), p. 89, 329-330; and The Essex Antiquarian, April 1899, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 53-54.

[1000] John G. Whittier, Abraham Davenport in Complete Poetical Works, p. 260.

[1100] Noah Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Vocabulary of the Names of Noted ... Persons and Places, ed. 1869, 1882 & 1883.

[1200] Samuel Tenny, in Collections of Massachuset's Historical Society for the Year 1792, Vol. I, pp. 97-98.

[1300] Correspondent's report from Ipswich Hamlet, Massachusets, Boston's Gazette and Country Journal, May 29, 1780.

[1400] Ibid., Next day's report from Salem.

[1450] Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy; or `American Oracle of Liberty, Vol. 10, No. 472, May 25, 1780.

[1500] The Boston Independent Chronicle of June 8 quoted from Thomas's Massachusetts Spy. See also `Some Memorials of Edward Lee' in The Publications of the American Tract Society, Vol. XI, p. 376.

[1600] Dr. Samuel Stearns, who had been appealed to because of his knowledge in "philosophy and astronomy", in a letter printed in the Independent Chronicle, June 22, 1780.

[1650] Ibid.

[1700] Timothy Dwight of Yale College, contemporary, wrote this account according to John W. Barber, Connecticut Historical Collections, p. 403.

[1800] A poem by Whittier.

[1850] Gage's History of Rowley, Massachusets. Joel 2:31.

[1900] Samuel Tenny of Exeter, New Hampshire (December, 1785), in Collections of Massachusets Historical Society for the Year 1792, Vol. I, pp. 97-98. Boston Gazette, May 29, 1780.

[2000] Thomas Milner, The Gallery of Nature, London, 1852, p. 140. See also "The Old Countryman", in Portland's Evening Advertiser, November 26, 1833. - Of course everyone knew by this time and knows that stars do not fall, but some scoffers do not know that this was a popular, tongue-in-cheek way to speak of meteor showers.

[2050] `The Old Countryman,' Nov. 26, 1833. (Portland Library.)

[2100] Clerke (writer on astronomy), History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century, p. 328, 329.

[2200] Thomas Milner, The Gallery of Nature, London, 1852, p. 141.

[2300] Denison Olmsted in the American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. XXV, 1834, pp. 363-364.

[2302] Silliman Journal, 25:354-411 & 26:132-174, Quoted in Charles P. Olivier, Meteors, Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Co., 1925, p. 24.

[2400] Simon Newcomb, Astronomy for Everybody, p. 280.

[2450] R.M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, chapter 28, paragraphs 1-5.

[2470] F. Reed, Christian Advocate and Journal, December 13, 1833.

[2500] Flammarion in Popular Astronomy, 1834(?), p. 536. An estimated 34,640 meteors an hour fell, according to Professor Olmsted, after the rain of stars had greatly abated, so that he was able to make an attempt at counting.

[2600] Dr. Humphreys in American Journal of Science, Vol. XXV, 1834, p. 372.

[2700] Prof. Alexander Twining in American Journal of Science, Vol. XXVI, 1834, p. 351.

[2800] A correspondent in the New York Journal of Commerce of November 16, 1833, Vol. VIII, No. 534, p. 2.

[2900] Professor Olmsted in the American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. XXV, 1834, p. 382.

[2950] Charles A. Young, Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University, `Manual of Astronomy', Boston: Ginn & Co., 1902, pp. 469, 471, 472.

[3000] George Ogden Abell, (1927-1983), Exploration of the Universe, N.Y., 1964, p. 307, 308. The author downplays the intensity of the meteoric shower of 1833 by merely or even grudgingly mentioning 200,000 meteors for the duration of the night. This sounds like an example of cognitive bias, they can't imagine the eyewitness accounts to be accurate and not exaggerations and so they discredit their observations and give their own opinion as an example of utter unbelief.
See also Charles A. Young (Princeton University), Manual of Astronomy, p. 469.
See also Elijah Burritt, The Geography of the Heavens, p. 157/163;
Edwin Dunkin, The Heavens and the Earth, p. 186.

[3050] R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century --R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5. . . .

[3060] Agnes M. Clerke, `History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century', London, 1902, p. 338.

[3100] Thursday, November 3, 2005, the people of Hope, Alaska, spotted an orange-red fireball streaking across the sky. "It had a real long tail, kind of a silvery white, and from a real perspective it was about the size of a large softball or basketball or soccer ball," someone said. Regular meteor showers, such as the Taurids, Leonids and Perseids, are named for the constellations from which they appear to emerge. The Taurids arrive in late October and early November off the comet Encke, discovered in 1786. This year's Taurids, whose week long peak of meteor activity Nasa said would start today, were expected to be brighter and more frequent than usual but none of these match that of 1833.

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