Was The Christmas Star An Astronomical Event?

Was The Christmas Star An Astronomical Event?

Bright star.  Credit: NASA


The three wise men followed a star that led them to the birthplace of Jesus is what the Christmas story tells us. But what was the star, could it have been an unusual astronomical event? Scientists have identified four rare astronomical events around this time that could have been predicted by Magi. The Magi were priests of Persia that used science and faith to predict future events. They are thought to have been the wise men that are described in the Christmas Story.

What were the unusual astronomical events around the time of the birth of Jesus and could they have represented the Star? Many people believe it may have been a bright comet but other theories are being put forward. Find out below about the theories.


Triple Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn


Around 7 BC Jupiter and Saturn joined three times over a few months. This event was predicted by Persian Astronomers as it has been found on a clay tablet.


Jupiter Eclipsed By the Moon


Jupiter was known as the kingmaker planet. Around the time of Jesus' birth it was eclipsed by the moon in 6 BC.


Supernova


Another theory is that DO Aquila, a star that would have been low in the Eastern sky 2,000 years ago, had a supernova event that would have been an impressive sight in the sky at the time.


Jupiter, Regulus and Venus


Another theory is that Jupiter, the Kingmaker planet and Regulus, the Little King, became so close to each other they would have appeared as one star. Then a few months later Jupiter met with Venus, the mother planet. These meetings would have had strong implications for the Persian Magi.



These theories were shown on a BBC programme called Star of Bethlehem and you can read more from the BBC website here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7791571.stm

Have a Happy Christmas and New Year.



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