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12/24-25/2021 – Ephemeris – Another possible solution of the mystery of the Star of Bethlehem

December 25, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24th & 25th. The Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:31 this evening.

The brilliant planets Venus and Jupiter are our Christmas Stars in the evening sky now. And perhaps they were part of the Star of Bethlehem. Back in August of 3 BCE, the planet Jupiter and Venus appeared to come very close to one another. The term for such an apparent close approach is called a conjunction. Astrologers make a big deal out of such a chance alignment. It’s like a trick photo of someone in the foreground appearing to hold up or leaning on a more distant object. Anyway, 10 months later in June of 2 BCE, Jupiter again appeared to join Venus, this time so close they could not be separated by the human eye. This all occurred against the constellation of Leo the lion which, in Genesis, was the symbol of Judah.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Merry Christmas!

Addendum

August 12, 3 BC conjunction

Here is an animation created using Stellarium of Jupiter and Venus, the brighter of the two seeming to coalesce on August 12, 3 BCE in the early morning twilight.

The second appearance of the "Star"

On June 16th 2 BCE, this time in the evening, Venus and Jupiter seem to coalesce as one, at least to the naked eye.

Telescopic Jupiter and Venus 6/17/-1 BC.

Venus appeared among Jupiter’s moons on June 16, 2 BCE. Of course, no one had a telescope back then. The telescope wouldn’t be invented for another 1,600 years. Stellarium cannot create the real brightness difference between Jupiter and Venus. Venus would be simply dazzling compared to Jupiter. Created using Stellarium.