Certain commentators have held that this "great star" represents one of several important figures in political or ecclesiastical history,  while other Bible dictionaries and commentaries view the term as a reference to a celestial being. A Dictionary of The Holy Bible states, "the star called Wormwood seems to denote a mighty prince, or power of the air, the instrument, in its fall, of sore judgments on large numbers of the wicked. Various religious groups and figures, including Seventh-day Adventists and the theologians Matthew Henry and John Gill ,  regard the verses of Revelation 8 as symbolic references to past events in human history. In the case of Wormwood, some historist interpreters believe that this figure represents the army of the Huns as led by king Attila , pointing to chronological consistencies between the timeline of prophecy they have accepted and the history of the Huns' campaign in Europe. Commentators favoring a naturalistic interpretation of Revelation relate it to the last days , seeing Wormwood as a meteor fated to strike the earth and cause environmental calamities. Various scientific scenarios have been theorized on the effects of an asteroid or comet's collision with Earth. A number of Bible scholars consider the term Wormwood to be a purely symbolic representation of the bitterness that will fill the earth during troubled times, noting that the plant for which Wormwood is named, Artemisia absinthium , is a known Biblical metaphor for things that are unpalatably bitter.
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The newly discovered threat to global civilisation is called SG, and it could strike our planet with a force times greater than that released by the atom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, astronomers have calculated. Their announcement, posted yesterday on the internet by the International Astronomical Union, is the first formal public prediction of a potential collision with a piece of cosmic debris and it arises from a scientific review process designed to eliminate premature predictions of celestial calamities. Two years ago, asteroid watchers triggered worldwide alarm by announcing that a mile-wide asteroid called XF might hit earth in A few days later they had to withdraw the forecast, after calculations showed the object posed no danger to our planet. The new prediction is unlikely to be withdrawn, however - for it has been carefully duplicated by scientists at several research centres. The object was recently discovered trailing in Earth's orbit around the sun by astronomers using the 3. However, the probability that it might hit Earth in was not realised until last week when Paul Chodas, at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, began studying its orbit. There was a small but definite risk, about one in , that its orbit, and Earth's, might coincide on 21 September - a danger that has been verified over the past 72 hours by a group of International Astronomical Union experts in Italy, Finland and the US. In the past we have talked about 1 in 10, or 1 in a million. On a newly devised point scale for grading potential impact hazards, known as the Torino scale, the object gets a rating of only 1 - mainly because of its relatively small size and uncertain chances of striking Earth.
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