I currently have a show in the planetarium that deals with traditions of the season, how we use light in our celebrations of this darkest of seasons (well at least for those of us in the N. Hemisphere) and possible explanations of the Christmas Star.
When was Christ's birth? Lots of debate, but the show puts a possible explanation for the phenomenon. What could it have been to move the wise men? The show goes on to answer the questions. I wanted to see what my little starry night program would say about the possible date and event...so here goes..
The apparent date is not...NOT December 25...that was a pagan celebration of the solstice...but I guess JC was a summer baby...June 17, 2 BC
I set the "way back" machine (in defference to Peabody and Sherman) to that date and the location to Bethlehem..and the series of photos shows Jupiter and Venus aligning into a single beacon from that point (I was inspired by last nights alignment) the first one was in the beginning of June the second a week or so later and the last is the date in question. By the way they aligned in the constellation Leo...the lion was important to the ancient Jews near the bright star Regulus.
Yes Jesus was not born on Dec. 25th. Almost all of the Christian holidays and celebrations are on days that were originally pagan in nature. It was easier to get people to convert that way.
:yes: Some of us re-converted
:tongue: I knew you were going to say that
The presumption is that someone named Jesus was born. I suppose there is enough empirical evidence to support that birth, however moving into the realm of deity is where it gets a little fuzzy, no?
I know so very little about astronomy, 'skip that I can't make any intelligent comment on your very interesting presentation.
I once heard someone describe the christian take over of existing celebrations as "absconding with the beliefs of the people." Remembering of course, that pagan simply meant country people... if it matters it was one of the Good Sisters who made the statement. :)
As we all know, many of the "traditions" we associate with Christmas are rooted in non-christian beginnings. The Yule log and Christmas tree are but two.
Patrick Moore gave a very cool talk on this a while back - see if I can find a link - I'd always thought it was Venus
That's cool Dan. Very interesting.
I always tell Steven the brightest star is the Christmas star. Now I know that's completely wrong and I'm probably referring the Venus. :lol:
Steven tells me the brightest star is his Great Grandad.
here you go - he goes through his thoughts as the chat progresses
Most of the stuff I have studied and presented here at the planetarium always refer back to the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Guess the only place where the planets aligned was in the mid east.
Thank you for that link, Skywatcher. :yes: Very interesting conversation. I wish I'd seen the documentary to which he refers.
He seems to think it was not Venus, 'skip. :unsure:
I guess I'm feeling pretty dumb right now, because I always thought the Star of Bethlehem was 1) a reference to the Christ Child or 2) a poetic reference to the North Star.
Where on earth did I come up with those ideas? :unsure: Must have heard something as a child that lodged awkwardly in my brain. :spring: