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.