Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem, as believed by the Christian tradition, led the astute men to place of birth of Lord Jesus. This is amongst the most well known and enduring legends professed by Christianity. But it is frequently questioned by many sky watchers if such a non-miraculous and ordinary astronomical occurrence have ever matched the biblical portrayal of Star of Bethlehem. The Star of Bethlehem also materializes in Book of Matthew. It records the appearance of the star as prompting the prudent men to go on a expedition to search King Herod of Jerusalem as well as then escorting them into Bethlehem.

One of the most acceptable explanations for the event is the conjunction of two most illuminated planets in the solar system, i.e. Venus and Jupiter. This particular event is believed to have taken place in year 2 BC somewhere in the month of June. It is stated that both Venus and Jupiter drew close to each other and combined to appear as single point of very intense illumination. They both appeared as a bright star in night sky. However on the contrary it has been estimated that King Herod died just about the time this magnificent event took place. Nova is another contender for the celebrated Star of Bethlehem. It was a brightly blazing star in the sky recorded in year 5 BC by Chinese Astronomers. The theory explained in this regard has been published in the book by author Mark Kidger called The Star of Bethlehem – View Of an Astronomer (1999).

An astronomer by the name of Nick Strobel working as a professor in the Bakersfield College, California has maintained a comprehensive website which examines the varied explanations about Star of Bethlehem. Nick Strobel admits that there might not even be any literal or historical foundation for the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem as professed by the Bible. Nevertheless he does agree on an early planetary conjunction believed to have taken place in the 6th or 7th BC.  It puts weight in the fact that the conjunction might have appeared for a couple of days like a frozen star. Many scientific theories have been formulated to justify the occurrence of Star of Bethlehem. But the astronomical tools might not ever be enough to validate the event and provide strong evidence to support the legend. Many interpretations might as well be just taken with a pinch of salt.

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