The Star of Bethlehem

It would be interesting to know how many people managed to view the astrological phenomenon dubbed ‘The Star of Bethlehem’, which was visible in the night sky throughout the month of June past.

A press release by NASA read ‘the planets of Venus and Jupiter to converge for a close jaw-dropping encounter in June.’

Venus and Jupiter are the brightest planets in our galaxy, and their closely-aligned appearing resembling a big single-star caused some astronomers to claim a semblance with the biblical ‘Star of Bethlehem’.

Throughout the month of June these planets were drawing closer to each other culminating in their tightest- and closest- grouping on the day of the thirtieth.

NASA claimed that on the 30 June the two planets would be one third of a degree apart- less than the diameter of a full moon.

I sighted the ‘planets- star’ on the night of 30 June, its visibility very close on the horizon, its brightness spectacular. Unlike a normal ‘star’ its shape and outer edges plainly seen, with a smaller star close alongside.

If the view with the naked eye was so vibrant, one can only imagine the clarity seen through the lens of a telescope.

These planet alignments are known as conjunctions, with the smaller star beside known as Regulus, the brightest in the constellation of the Lion (of Judah)

According to the website the Jupiter-Venus conjunction around 3-2 BC was also located near this very bright star.

It has been stated that this conjunction hasn’t been this visible for roughly two thousand years.

We live in interesting times.