Don't forget: you can click on an image to enlarge it!

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Star of Bethlehem?

The fast-approaching conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (see previous post!) has become high profile in the media: they are calling it 'The Star of Bethlehem'. Hmmmm... I thought the SoB was supposed to have been in the east: in which case, the current position (and brightness) of Venus in the dawn sky make it much more worthy of the link!

IMHO: the 'real' Star of Bethlehem must have been something other than a conjunction, because a search back through the star charts for the years 0 - 6BC reveals a significant planetary grouping of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus, but they'd only have been close for a few days. Many people suggest Halley's Comet as a strong contender: it appeared in the sky in 10BC. However, there are two problems with this: we are told that the Magi visited Herod shortly before he died, so 10BC is far too early. Also, comets were (and still are!) seen as harbingers of doom and disaster, not the birth of a king!

My money is on a supernova: an unexpected exploding star. These can be visible even in daylight and flare briefly before fading away...

No comments: