In the coming days, lovers of unusual astronomical phenomena will be able to observe the return of the Bethlehem star. On December 21, the paths of the Jupiter and the Saturn will cross. The planets will seem to be on the same line, and for a short time they will seem to be one cosmic object, spreading a bright glow. The astronomers say that such events cannot be called daily, but they are also not considered particularly rare. In the current year, the formation of a single line of planets has two probable differences compared to previous similar events.
The first is the degree of alignment of the planets. The experts believe that during the conjunction, both planets will appear impossibly bright. Beyond that, they will seem much closer than nearly eight centuries.
The second factor, which has attracted the attention of not only the astronomers, but also religious scholars, is that the event will occur during the winter solstice, on the eve of the Christmas holidays. This time period is associated with biblical events: the sages were brought to Joseph and Mary by the star of Bethlehem. A bright cosmic body could well have an explanation for its appearance associated with the intersection of the paths of the Jupiter and the Saturn.
As you know, the story of the beginning of the life of Jesus begins with the story of his birth. It says that the wise men came to Jerusalem with an appeal to the king of Judah, Herod, asking him about the child who was born to the king of Judah.
They saw a star at the sunrise and came to bow to the baby. Following the star, they come to the home of Jesus and his family. Many scholars are not sure about the coincidence of the birth of Jesus and the appearance of a bright star in the sky.
In addition, similar astronomical events tend to repeat themselves with a certain frequency. For the first time, the assumption that the star of Bethlehem is nothing more than the conjunction of the Saturn and the Jupiter sounded in the 17th century.
Its author was the German astronomer Johannes Kepler. He argued that the conjunction of the planets took place in 6 BC and could well serve as a source of inspiration for stories about the Star of Bethlehem.