Science and the Wormwood Star Prophecy (Messianic Literary Corner) - Messianic Literary Corner

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Science & The Wormwood Star Prophecy
by Marshall Beeber

An Introduction
In  the First Century AD, the Apostle John wrote an apocalyptic book called  "Revelation" in which he described among many "end-time" events the  collision of a star called Wormwood with Earth.  Revelation states:

Rev.  8:10-11:  The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star,  blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on  the springs of water-- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the  waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had  become bitter.

Wormwood is a botanical herb commonly known for its bitterness.  See   It was used as a pesticide, medicinal tonic and liqueur ingredient. The  term "wormwood" was often used to describe "extreme bitterness". Let  us consider the possibility of a "star" turning the waters bitter on  Earth. The term "star" in classical terminology lacks the modern  astronomical sense.  It could have been referring to a comet, asteroid,  "sun-like" star or planet.  Since the possibility of a planet or sun  colliding with earth is infinitesimal, we will eliminate this  possibility.  
A Scientific Explanation For The Wormwood Star
The  Wormwood prophecy cites a "great star, blazing like a torch".  Comets  are well known for their blazing tails, due to ionization of their gases  by the Sun.  Either an asteroid or comet could manifest a blazing tail  on their entry into Earth's atmosphere.  With respect to a comet's  impact with a planet, astronomers have recently tracked the collision of  the "Shoemaker-Levy 9" comet with the planet Jupiter and were able to  confirm many of their theories.

Various  scientific scenarios have been theorized on the effects of an asteroid  or comet's collision with Earth.  An applicable scenario theorizes a  chemical change in the atmosphere due to "heat shock" during entry  and/or impact of a large asteroid or comet, reacting oxygen and nitrogen  in the atmosphere to produce nitric acid rain.  The bitterness produced  by the Wormwood Star upon a third of the Earth's potable waters could  be the Biblical prediction of "acid rain" from the "heat shock" of a  large comet or asteroid's impact with Earth.  

The Hooper Natural Science Museum  in Ottawa, Canada cites a scientific theory that postulates  "atmospheric chemical changes" from the impact of an asteroid or comet  with the Earth.  This scientific theory was derived by two M.I.T. scientists.

In 1987 M.I.T. astronomers Ronald Prinn and Bruce Fegley  determined the atmospheric consequences of both large and small  asteroid and comet impacts. When an asteroid enters earth's atmosphere  there are two occurrences of extreme shock. The first occurs as the  asteroid enters the atmosphere. The second, more important one, occurs  when the ejecta plume (the ejected debris caused by an impact) enters  the atmosphere (Dr. Kevin Zahnle, 1990).  This shock causes the  breakdown of the oxygen (O2) and the nitrogen (N2)  molecules found in our atmosphere. Through a series of chemical  reactions the dissociation of the nitrogen and oxygen forms NO which is  then converted into NO2. These two molecules can produce nitric acid rain (HNO3).  They assumed the "large" impact comet had a mass of 1.25 x 1016 Kg traveling at a velocity of 65 Km/s. As for the "small" impact asteroid, they assumed it had a mass of 5 x 1014  Kg traveling at a velocity of 20 Km/s. It is important to note that  these two objects are possible bolides that hit the earth 65 million  years ago.

Conclusions of the Large Comet Impact Scenario
If the "large" comet impact scenario occurred, 7 x 1040  molecules of NO would have been produced and subsequently converted  into acid rain. (See chemical reactions) This would have caused a global  dispersal of acid rain with a pH of 0-1.5.  On the continents the acid  rain would have weathered the soil removing many of the insoluble  elements ( for e.g. Be+2, Al+3, Hg+2, Cu+, Fe+2, Fe+3, Ti+3, Pb+2, Cd+2,  Mn+2, Sr+2). These elements would end up in soil water, streams,  rivers, lakes, etc., causing a problem as some of these elements are  known for their toxicity towards plants and animals (e.g. Al, Be, Ti,  Hg). As for the oceans, the global acid rain would lower the pH of the  mixed layer (the top 75 M of the ocean) to a pH of 7.8, breaking down  the calcareous shells of organisms that thrive in the mixing zone.

Conclusions of the Small Asteroid Impact Scenario
If  the "small" asteroid scenario were to occur, the amount of acid rain  produced would be similar to the "large" comet scenario but only near  the impact site. The global pH change would be rather insignificant.
Above statement is referred to Reference Link #1 (Hooper Museum Website)
Tunguska, Siberia Catastrophe Shows Evidence of Acid Rain
The  Tunguska, Siberia meteor strike catastrophe in 1908 evidently led to  high levels of acid rain. This is the conclusion reached by Russian,  Italian and German researchers based on the results of analyses of peat  profiles taken from the disaster region. "Extremely high temperatures  occurred as the meteorite entered the atmosphere, during which the  oxygen in the atmosphere reacted with nitrogen causing a build up of  nitrogen oxides. The Tunguska event is regarded as one of the biggest  natural disasters of modern times. On 30 June 1908 one or more  explosions took place in the area close to the Tunguska River north of  Lake Baikal. The explosion(s) flattened around 80 million trees over an  area of more than 2000 square kilometres. The strength of the explosion  is estimated to have been equivalent to between five and 30 megatons of  TNT. That is more than a thousand times as powerful as the Hiroshima  bomb.
There are a number of  different theories about what caused the catastrophe. However, the  majority of scientists assume that it was caused by a cosmic event, such  as the impact of a meteorite, asteroid or comet. The initial research  publication by Evgeniy M. Kolesnikov of Lomonosov Moscow State  University validates the theory postulated by Prinn and Fegley of acid  rain following the heat shock of a meteor, asteroid or comet strike.

Conclusion of this Article
In  conclusion, the scientific scenario theorizing "acid rain" following a  large comet or asteroid impact with Earth is the best explanation for  the "Wormwood Star" prophecy existing today.  Such information enhances  the credibility of the "Wormwood Star" prophecy and New Testament  writings with scientific theory and debunks many of the fanciful  futuristic speculations and symbolic interpretations.  This scenario may  be another instance of "Science catching up with Biblical prophecy".  

Referring Links
Below  are various links discussing asteroids and comets.  I have focused  particularly on the scientific scenarios of a comet or asteroid  colliding with Earth, causing chemical changes in the atmosphere.

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