What do you know about the 'Star of Bethlehem' that was mentioned in the New Testament of the Holy Bible?
You may know a Christmas story that talks about the star of Bethelehem. That story was first told in the Bible a long time ago. Here it says, "In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star rising, and have come to pay him homage'."
Around this time of year, many people wonder about that star mentioned long ago. What's the astronomy behind the star?
Some think it was a nova (an exploding star). Other people think that the star that was written about in the Bible was actually a comet.
Most likely, the star was a planetary conjunction. A conjunction is when two or more objects appear very close together in the sky. The closer the objects, the brighter the conjunction. The conjunction of Jupiter with star Regulus happened around the time Jesus was born.
Some people would say that the star was not any one astronomical event, but simply the God of the Bible announcing the coming of Jesus.
Submitted by Gene (Florida, USA)
(December 18, 1997)
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
This is a picture that the Hubble Space Telescope took of a nebula. Nebulas are clouds of gas in outer space from which stars form. Because it is red and white and green, it looks like something that could...more
It depends on which type of motion you are asking about. If you take a birds-eye view from the top of the solar system all the planets orbit around the Sun in a counter-clockwise (or direct) direction....more
Have you ever wondered how astronauts live in space? Did you know they do a lot of the same things we do here on Earth? Astronauts eat, exercise and sleep just like we do. However, their food isn't always...more
There is a really neat internet program called Solar System Live that shows where all of the planets and the Sun are. If you go to that page, you'll see an image similar to the one on the left. Below the...more
The picture of the American Flag (the one put there by the Apollo astronauts) is waving (or straight out) in the wind. How could that be possible if there is no atmosphere on the Moon? Was it some sort...more
I was wondering if there is a new planet? Are there planets (a tenth planet?) after Pluto belonging to our solar system? What are the names of the new planets discovered in the solar system? Are there...more
When an object has a really high energy, it can form a black hole. This is called a primordial black hole. Primordial black holes were formed near the beginning of the universe. Primordial black holes...more