In December 2020, the internet was abuzz with talk of a so-called "Christmas Star" – a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. During the celestial event, the two planets appeared so close together they looked like a single, bright star to the naked eye. Does that description sound familiar? The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, and its proximity to Christmas, understandably drew comparisons to the biblical Star of Bethlehem that guided the wise men to the place of Jesus's birth.
For centuries, experts and laymen alike have wondered: what was the Star of Bethlehem? Is the Star of Bethlehem the North Star? Are there astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem? While it's unlikely the Star of Bethlehem was a comet like Halley's Comet, there are several theories for what the Star of Bethlehem actually was. The most convincing of these theories might just be a conjunction not unlike our "Christmas Star" of 2020.
In The Bible, The Star Of Bethlehem Guided The Wise Men To Jesus's Birthplace
Scientists Have Been Trying To Explain The Star Of Bethlehem For Centuries
Tonight look up for a very rare celestial event, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.— Kentiquity: Classics & Archaeology @KentUni (@kentiquity) December 21, 2020
Kepler (17th c.) thought that this conjunction inspired Matthew' story about the Star of Bethlehem which guided the wise men to the newborn Jesus.
Roman sarcophagus 4th c. AD, Vatican Museum pic.twitter.com/9nWmN3Awpm
It's Unlikely The Star Of Bethlehem Was A Meteor, As They Disappear Almost As Soon As They Light Up The Sky
There's No Record Of A Supernova Occurring Around The Time Jesus Would Have Been Born