I am interested in learning the locations and velocities of the near earth asteroids at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I would like to back-calculate the paths of all known near earth asteroids to find out if any was between the earth and the sun at the time of Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday. The Horizons system of NASA JPL only permits back calculations to about 1400AD.

I want to see if there was a clustering of asteroids on Good Friday between the earth and sun. If so they could be the remnants of a gigantic collision that would have been capable of making a dust cloud in interplanetary space that could have produced a shadow on the entire earth which would account for the observations reported by the gospels and the Chinese astronomers and St. Dionysius and others.

In other words if any asteroids are calculated to have been between the earth and sun on Good Friday they may be left-over debris from the possible collision that produced the dust cloud.

My question is this. Do you know of any available computer program like the JPL Horizons program that will work to give asteroid positions back in the time period between 29AD and 35AD? (I give a range of years because biblical scholars give a range of possible years for the Crucifixion of Jesus. The determination of a debris asteroid would help historians know the timing of the Crucifixion better, also.) Thank you for your attention and assistance. Best Regards, Dr. Francis Kelly President, The Catholic Association of Scientists and Engineers

  • $\begingroup$ Most of the asteroids in the Horizons system are ones which have stable, non-intersecting orbits. I don't think there's any feasible way to calculate if two or more asteroids have collided that far in the past. $\endgroup$
    – Phiteros
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 0:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble If you look at it with a really widely open mind, the fact the OP is asking if a tool exists that can be used to prove his postulated events occurred is related to space exploration, because such a tool could be useful for predicting the correct orbital trajectory for a probe returning from, say, van Maanen's Star (14ly distant) thousands of years from now. Then again, there's my answer to his question... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 3:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The question could be made more neutral by removing biblical references. just ask for a software that is able to back-calculate celestial positions, including asteroids, to around 0 AD. No reason to mention anything else. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ Near earth asteroids for the most part aren't visible to the naked eye and would go unnoticed. I'm not sure what you mean by "find that dust cloud", that's a bit confusing. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 12:27

3 Answers 3


The computer program you are asking for is literally impossible: Even ignoring the affect of the greater universe and transient visitors such as comets on hyperbolic orbits, the Solar system is a chaotic complex system. We have a pretty good handle on the motion of the bodies we are, and have been aware of, during the time modern astronomy has been studying the skies, i.e., over the past few hundred years. (Remember that in the earlier years of telescopic astronomy, we were unaware of most of the currently known members of the Solar system, including all of the asteroids, and every massive object beyond Saturn.) As you deviate further from the present (either past or future), the chaotic nature of the system comes more into play, especially on smaller bodies such as asteroids. As a result, stating orbital positions either far in the past or far in the future requires a larger margin of error as the time differential grows. Eventually you get to a point where the error is so great that we cannot say reliably where an object was or will be. Perhaps if someone had come up with the laws of planetary motion sooner than Kepler, we would have more reliable data further into the past, and therefore more accurate orbital elements over a longer range than we do, but that didn't happen.

The asteroid belt (white) and Jupiter's trojan asteroids (green)

From Wikipedia, linked from the Asteroid page

In addition to the chaotic nature of the Solar system, there's also the fact that the vast majority of the asteroids revolve around the Sun outside of the Earth's orbit, so the chances of any asteroids we know of having "a gigantic collision ... that could have produced a shadow on the entire Earth" (i.e., between the Earth and the Sun) are between slim and none. (Note also that the amount of material present in said "dust cloud" would have to be immense in order to have a noticeable affect on the amount of sunlight falling on the Earth.) The only way such a collision could have occurred would be if two objects traveling through the Solar system happened to collide in such a manner that the "dust cloud" the collision produced happened to fall between the Earth and Sun - and also left the Solar system without a trace afterwards. This would have required the objects being in similar trajectories crossing the plane of the ecliptic at a high angle and speed - a chaotic event if there ever was one!

So, basically you're looking for a way to prove that a chaotic event happened sufficiently far in the past that chaotic errors make our knowledge of most of the Solar system (asteroids and such) and outside influnences questionable - no, that's not going to happen. Math doesn't work that way.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your consideration. This answer is off the point. After the collision and the dust cloud is formed (probably and possibly) there would be some solid pieces of whatever collided flying away from the collision region. These pieces would perhaps be of asteroid size and would fall into periodic orbits with part of their orbit inside the orbit of the earth since they started out there after the collision. Of course the collision is highly improbable; but that is why the collision was a miracle. $\endgroup$
    – Casepres
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 1:47
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Wow. I'm sure you said that with a straight face, too. You asked if there was a computer program with a specific set of objectives, and I gave you a precise answer (no), so, no, it's not "off the point." $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 3:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @casepres The answer was an excellent one and very precisely on point. Your issue with your belief system is not relevant to this forum. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 4:55

Just for clarification, it sounds like you're asking, in addition to asteroid tracking, about a possible astronomical explanation to Crucifixion Darkness. That would require a collision in transit between the Earth and the Sun that would make a debris cloud large enough for 3 hours of shade.

Such an astronomical event would be very rare because asteroid on asteroid collisions are rare and this one would need to be precisely timed and placed. Ideally you'd want the debris field to be moving in roughly the same direction as the earth relative to the sun, to maximize the shading period of time. Such an event is extremely extremely unlikely but not impossible.

I am interested in learning the locations and velocities of the near earth asteroids at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The NEO Program has greatly increased the tracking of Near Earth Asteroids. Current estimates put the number of 1-km or greater asteroids at 981 +/- 19. Smaller asteroids, the number grow exponentially. Smaller asteroids are harder to see. According to this, 16,000 have been identified and there are thousands more.

As pointed out in the other answer, Near Earth Asteroids are subject to gravitational perturbations and that makes predicting their location a couple thousand years ago quite difficult, especially if they make more than one close pass to Earth because orbital changes get amplified with each pass, the closer the pass, the greater the amplification of uncertainty. Tracking thousands of asteroids back nearly 2,000 years is an enormous task.

any was between the earth and the sun at the time of Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday.

Asteroids are too small to block the sun in any meaningful way. We only study near Earth Asteroids to be prepared for collisions. Other than the occasional collision (and possible space mining), Near earth asteroids are astronomically boring objects that are too small to see. They would have gone mostly unnoticed to anyone before telescopes because they wouldn't have been visible, even in transit.

a clustering of asteroids on Good Friday between the earth and sun. If so they could be the remnants of a gigantic collision that would have been capable of making a dust cloud in interplanetary space that could have produced a shadow on the entire earth which would account for the observations reported by the gospels and the Chinese astronomers and St. Dionysius and others.

Asteroids don't "cluster". They're too few and too far apart. A collision of two is possible but rare. A cluster of many, enough to block the sun for 3 hours is impossible.

Asteroid collision and a dust cloud is an interesting proposal. Unlikely but worth exploring.

Here's a question about asteroid collisions with other asteroids in space. While it's believed that they happen, they're rare events.

From the answer:

inter-asteroid / asteroid-comet / inter-comet collisions are extremely rare. They are in fact so rare, that there is basically no statistics about it. It is hard or near impossible to put a number of that.

However, there are attempts to predict collisions. Keeping in mind that orbital parameters of small and distant objects can only be determined with some uncertainty, the idea is to go through the database of known objects and predict when a pair of objects comes into a certain proximity. This gives candidates for collision events. They are rather interesting for researchers, who are studying the structure or chemical composition of such objects. Another however, the amount of collisions actually happening after such a prediction is still incredibly low.

So, while we know that asteroid on asteroid collisions do happen they are so rare that none has ever been observed. For such an event to block out the sun, you'd need a couple very large asteroids, and the collision would probably need to be quite close to the Earth and in ideal placement between the Earth and the Sun where the debris field moved in relation with the Sun and Earth so as to maintain a shadow.

And the collision would need to be high speed enough to create a large spray of dust, so not a glancing blow, but a full on impact. That's improbabilities on top of improbabilities.

Meteor and comet trails (not to be confused with comet tails) follow an elliptical orbit. Those are easy to trace back to their origin because all the debris is lined up and orderly.

enter image description here

Impact collisions

Collisions behave very differently and you'd need a sufficiently large high speed collision to create any kind of large dust cloud to create 3 hours of shade on Earth. Tracking debris from a 2,000 year old collision is very hard without having that debris in hand - then, maybe.

An impact crater is what the footprint of a collision looks like. (Resemblance to the Death Star is purely coincidental)

enter image description here

This is what a larger collision looks like (no longer visible to the eyes but detectable by gravitational and crustal density anomalies.

enter image description here

This is what an even larger impact looks like, where you get enough debris blown off where it forms into a moon.

enter image description here

Explanation (scroll down to giant impact)

It's thought that Binary asteroids sometimes called double asteroids or asteroids with a moon are relatively common, and may be the result of impacts, but there in lies one problem. A 2,000 year old impact might just look like a binary asteroid. It wouldn't be possible to discern the date of the impact just by telescope and orbital tracking, but statistically a 2,000 year old impact would be abnormally young.

Finally, the largest, highest speed collisions, the two objects would just blow their debris apart - and there would basically be nothing to detect 2,000 years later. Debris from a collision would either coalesce back into an asteroid or binary asteroid by gravity or simply drift apart. In either case, evidence of a collision wouldn't be obvious outside of some hands on analysis of glassy compounds formed by impact or other chemical studies, but we'd actually have to get the debris into a lab to study it that closely. By telescope, there would no evidence of such a collision and debris cloud after 2,000 years. Any debris from the cloud would look just like all the other space dust with nothing distinguishable about it at least by telescope.

The other problem with finding a theoretical impact that you're looking for is that you can't limit it to near earth asteroids. Any comet or longer period asteroid that crosses the Earth could have had such an impact and any evidence of that comet being impacted would have left with the comet as it flew past the outer planets long ago, perhaps changing it's trajectory so it's no longer an earth crosser. The number of objects to look for grows enormously when you consider that one of the objects could have come from much further out.

A third problem with your theory is that such an impact, close enough to cause visible shade would very likely shower the Earth with debris and that would have been noted in the history books as well as a meteor shower like none before or since.

A long or medium period comet being struck by an asteroid might be a better explanation as the icy body being impacted would create a dirty gas cloud of some size while reducing debris impact on Earth as much of the ices would melt into gases and disburse under the sun's rays. That would decrease the showered by meteors problem, but make finding the impacted object even harder.

Your space impact idea is a clever attempt to explain crucifixion darkness, but astronomically speaking, hugely improbable. And the answer to your question is that evidence, if such an event did happen, would be very hard to detect, and with current technology, probably impossible. Good question though.

Another way to think about evidence is that, when a collision happens on a planet, the planet's surface is relatively static and the record is preserved. Obviously there's some weathering but information can be deduced by impacts that are hundreds of millions of years old. In space, in the solar system, everything moves. Things fly apart from each other while orbiting the sun. A two thousand year old collision in space, even a large one, might leave no detectable record after 2,000 years, or if one object survived it could be virtually anywhere in the solar-system 2,000 years later.

Hope that helps.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your kind discussion. The rareness of the collision is irrelevant to the need to find out what debris it left behind. Supercomputers are able to do great things and a family of possible asteroid debris particles can be isolated from those which are more impossible. Then the possible ones can be studied more to learn if they show signs of common composition, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Casepres
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ The clustering only happens at the time of original collision on Good Friday. $\endgroup$
    – Casepres
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ It does not occur after the initial collision. I am a nuclear physicist among other things; and this problem has a lot in common with studying nuclear events. I think that both original particles that collided could have come from interstellar space with lots of energy and mass. There may be residue on Mercury and the moon still now. a $\endgroup$
    – Casepres
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ Antarctic ice sheets deepen at the rate of about an inch or two per year. If we dig down~ two hundred feet we get to the layer from 2000 years ago. This layer may have dust from the cloud. Asteroid dust may be detected because the isotopes do not normally match those in earth based dust. $\endgroup$
    – Casepres
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 1:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Casepres There's still the problem that to find any debris, a lot would have needed to fall on Earth and there should be some record of fireballs from the sky in your scenario. You can't get enough darkness from debris and debris on Earth without the intermediate step, which is stuff entering the Earth's atmosphere very fast - and that would look like fireballs from the sky. The ancients noticed fireballs from the sky. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 10:24

First off, Jesus death was on a Wednesday and not a Friday. Why, Creation of the Sun, moon, and stars was on the 4th day. Also, anything to do with the life of Yeshua, has to line up with Leviticus 23 which is the word Season's in Genesis 1:14. Years is the Shemitah and Jubilee Years. The Menorah has 7 candles. The fourth candle is called the Christ candle or servant Candle and also you have to line up His death to Daniel 9:27 in the MIDST of/Middle of so the year would have been on Passover (not a Sabbath) on Wednesday, 4000 years from Creation (Aleph-Tav in Genesis 1:1) in 30 CE (Wednesday) between 27(Sunday) to 33 CE (Saturday).

2). NASA (NOT a straight aswer) is trying to hide Trappist, Nemesis, El Shaddai, the Destroyer who brings in the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments a of Revelation in 2019 between Passover (April 20th) and Day of Atonement on October 10th. The orbital path of Nibiru( the Crossing) is an elliptical orbit and comes around every 300-350 years. Gill Broussard's work will help you out on this one or Jardalkalataol.blogspot.com.

Yes, there was an asteroid that did occur at Yeshua's death just like the one's at His second Coming during this week. Asteroid 2016 JP 21.1000 H 7,292,673 km 19 April 2019

Asteroid 2017 UT2 24.6000 H 19,652,952 km 21 April 2019

Asteroid 2016 WQ3 28.8000 H 10,862,251 km 21 April 2019

Asteroid 2019 FY 22.9030 H 9,793,095 km 26 April 2019

Asteroid 2013 KJ6 19.9000 H 17,478,956 km 26 April 2019

Asteroid 137805 1999 YK5 16.6000 H 7,923,219 km 4 May 2019

https://www.asteroidsnear.com/year?year=2019 As you can tell we are in the baseball park and parking lot for an exciting two weeks of hitting balls (asteroids) as they come by the earth. At the time of this reporting, there will not be any home runs until May to October time frame with 2 hits (Asteroid by Sea and asteroid by land (wormwood) of Revelation chapter 8.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why should Jesus' death and the creation of the Sun happen on the same day of the week? From what source did you learn it? $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 19:31
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ -1 2) is unsupported conspiracy theory, and the whole thing is pushing the users own point rather than answering the question as asked. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 0:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .