The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star , is a star in the Bible and Christian tradition that let the Magi know that Jesus was born, and later helped them go to Bethlehem. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the star made the magi travel to Jerusalem.
This year, bright planets Jupiter and Saturn will align perfectly on Dec. 21 to create what is commonly called the Christmas Star or the “ Star of Bethlehem .” According to NASA, Jupiter and Saturn align with one another every 20 years or so, but not nearly as close together as they will be in 2020 .
Will the Star of Bethlehem appear in 2020? Yes, the symbolic Christmas star will be visible from December 16, but the best day to observe it will be December 21, coinciding with the winter solstice.
The theory that the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn may be the Star of Bethlehem is not new. It was proposed in the early 17th century by Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer and mathematician. Matthew says that the wise men come to Jerusalem “from the East.” The star then leads them to Bethlehem , south of Jerusalem.
Explanation 4: the Christmas star was a stationary point of Jupiter . Jupiter , in its apparent path across the sky, is generally seen to move from east to west across the starry background.
To view the Christmas Star , look towards the western horizon on December 21. You will find the planets near the moon just after sunset between December 16th and Christmas Day, with their closest meeting on December 21. Illustration of the crescent Moon passing near the planets in mid-December, from EarthSky.
The phenomenon can be seen one hour after sunset. The astronomer Patrick Hartigan says that the event will be repeated until March 15, 2080 and then it will not happen again until after 2,400, so it would be worth taking advantage of the opportunity and not letting it go.
The Christmas Star which is the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn would not be visible after the event has passed. But, the night sky lovers can still see the large planets move away from one another in the night till December 27.
So, why is it called a ” Christmas star “? Due the event landing near the Christmas holidays, many are referring to the formation as a ” Christmas star .”
The ‘ Christmas Star ‘ appears again: Jupiter and Saturn align in the ‘great conjunction’ on Dec. 21, 2020 . Many are referring to it as the “ Christmas Star .” It’s the closest the two planets have appeared together in about 800 years, and won’t occur again until 2080.
2020 has been a rough year but there is a year-end treat coming to the sky tonight. What has become known as the “Christmas Star ” or “ Star of Bethlehem ” – actually an especially bright planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn – will be visible in the night sky on Dec. 21, according to NASA scientists.
Those looking to see the star will want to look above the southwestern or western horizon after sunset, experts said. Here are some viewing tips from NASA: Monday night, find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky , such as a field or park, as the two planets can be seen from most cities nationwide.
Star of David – The Jewish symbol of King David , which the Star of Bethlehem is often associated with having been a miraculous appearance of.
To understand the Star of Bethlehem , we need to think like the three wise men. Motivated by this “star in the east,” they first traveled to Jerusalem and told King Herod the prophecy that a new ruler of the people of Israel would be born.
Look towards the southwest to spot the “ Christmas Star .” If there are clear skies, which would provide for optimal viewing of the conjunction, you could head to the beach for an unobstructed view of the planetary event.