That is, it was not necessarily an enormous mass of hydrogen and helium gas powered by nuclear fusion. Perhaps the magi were expecting a new star to announce the birth of Christ from reading Numbers 24:17, which describes a star coming from Jacob and a King (“Scepter”)4 from Israel.5, Curiously, the magi seem to have been the only ones who saw the star—or at least the only ones who understood its meaning. For that matter, God has previously used apparently supernatural signs in the heavens as a guide. However, two on the list were visible only with great difficulty or not all. 8. Both of these books answer such questions as: Can natural processes explain the origin of life? 1. The wise men would have recognized such a unique rising. Herod would not have needed to ask the magi when a comet had appeared. It is possible that the star initially acted only as a sign, rather than as a guide. This verse makes use of synecdoche—the part represents the whole. But while single conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn occur once every 20 years, such triple conjunctions are far less frequent, occurring about once every 180 years on average; the last time was in 1981, but the next won't happen until 2239. The Virgin Birth itself was a supernatural event; it cannot be explained within the context of known natural laws. The Bible records a number of occasions where God has acted in a seemingly unusual way to accomplish an extraordinary purpose. But on Dec. 21, we see Jupiter and Saturn separated by just 6 arc minutes. There is a caveat however, for those living in temperate latitudes, such as New York, Paris or Tokyo, where the two planets were not visible because of their close proximity to the glare of the Sun and low altitude above the horizon. The image of Santa Claus flying his sleigh began in 1819 and was created by Washington Irving, the same author who dreamt up the Headless Horseman. However, the Bible describes the Christmas star as a single star—not aconjunction of two or more stars. God can use extraordinary means for extraordinary purposes. If the magi alone saw the star, this further supports the notion that the Christmas star was a supernatural manifestation from God rather than a common star, which would have been visible to all. For a normal star, it would be impossible to determine which house is directly beneath it. © Conversely, only 60 years separate the events of 2417 and 2477. 'Great conjunction' 2020: NASA tips to see Jupiter and Saturn as a 'Christmas Star'. Usually when Jupiter and Saturn line up they are separated by about one degree, or twice the apparent diameter of the moon. So, when Jupiter and Saturn got together it was simply a conjunction, but a "great" conjunction! However, the Bible does not say that this star was a natural phenomenon. In the biblical conception of the word, a star is any luminous point of light in our night sky. The fact that all the stars in our night sky obey orderly logical laws of nature is consistent with biblical creation and inconsistent with secular notions. Take a look at some facts about the Sirius star that explain its extremely bright appearance. The star seems to have risen from the location of Christ at the time of His birth, in a spectacular fulfillment of Balaam’s prophecy; the star would literally have risen from Israel. Really, the month of December is the red Starburst of months. Christmas Star History The three Magi are related to the Christmas Star History. The Bible says that they “saw His star in the east” (Matthew 2:2). And how did it lead the magi to the Lord? A conjunction is when a planet passes closely by a star or by another planet. Magi (pronounced ma'ji') were scholars of the ancient world, possibly a class of Zoroastrian priests from Media or Persia. After the magi had met with Herod, the star went on before them to the Bethlehem region8 and stood over the location of Jesus. Sirius belongs to the Canis Major constellation and is the brightest star visible from the Earth at night. Can creationists be real scientists? THE CHRISTMAS STAR PART 2: We have seen that all the evidence points to Messiah being born in September of 3 BC. It seems to have led them to the very house that Jesus was in—not just the city. Star and Scepter (bearer) both indicate a king, and Israel and Jacob are two names for the same person who is the ancestor of the coming king. A supernova (an exploding star) fits the popular Christmas card conception of the star. This is clear from the synonymous parallelism (see the next note). Actually, one of the more popular theories for the "Christmas Star" was a series of conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC. 'Christmas star' 2020: Here's some fun facts about the 'great conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn space.com - Joe Rao. Star and Scepter (bearer) both indicate a king, and Israel and Jacob are two names for the same person who is the ancestor of the coming king. Visit our corporate site. Of course, God can use natural law to accomplish His will. Jupiter was often considered the king of the gods, and Regulus was considered the “king star.” Did such a conjunction announce the birth of the King of kings? “We found out something startling.” said Reneke, “It looks like the ‘Christmas star’ really did exist,” Two thousand years ago, astronomy and astrology were considered one and the … Explanation 1: the Christmas star was a nova or supernova explosion. They are popular in the UK […] The idea that the Magi saw a nova or supernova explosion was hinted at by 17th century astronomer, Johannes Kepler, and has had many supporters since. Such an event is extremely rare and may have been perceived as highly significant to the magi. But in any case, it will be something exceedingly rare to see. Whatever the exact mechanism, the fact that the star led the magi to Christ is evidence that God uniquely designed the star for a very special purpose. Although this event would have been really spectacular, it does not fully match the description of the Christmas star. And how did it lead the magi to the Lord? Internet Explorer is no longer supported. So, based on our list, these two planets come exceedingly close to each other on an average of once every 300 years. The latter view is indicated by John Gill in his commentary. The magi already knew that Christ was in the Bethlehem region. 5 The Shepherds Didn’t Follow The Star Many think of the shepherds as old men cradling lambs and standing in a stable with the star shining above, having just heard the angels sing. Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky on Dec. 21 in an event astronomers call the "great conjunction" — also referred to as the "Christmas Star" — marking the planets' closest encounter in nearly 400 years.When Saturn and Jupiter converge on Dec. 21, the two planets may appear as a bright point of light that will be easily visible in the night sky. But the Christmas star is specially designated as “His” (Christ’s), suggesting its unusual nature. The Star of Bethlehem was the star that showed the place of Jesus Christ’s birth, particularly guiding the magi. This sky map shows where you can find Jupiter and Saturn during the great conjunction on Dec. 21, 2020. For the Magi, Jupiter, pacing back-and-forth with Saturn in 7 BC would certainly have been looked upon as something unique. But so few people actually know what the Bible really says about this event, or what it actually means for us today. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the magi did not arrive at the manger on the night of Christ’s birth; rather, they found the young Jesus and His mother living in a house (Matthew 2:11). This view is supported by the fact that first, the magi had to ask King Herod where the King of the Jews was born, which means the star wasn’t guiding them at that time (Matthew 2:2). In science, a good problem takes us far beyond the results of a single observation. The apostle Matthew records that the birth of Jesus was accompanied by an extraordinary celestial event: a star that led the magi1 (the “wise men”) to Jesus. This could have been nearly two years after Christ’s birth, since Herod—afraid that his own position as king was threatened—tried to have Jesus eliminated by killing all male children under the age of two (Matthew 2:16). The fact that the magi referred to it as “His star” further supports the unique nature of the star.6. They say that it’s so good at giving short, substantive answers that they want more. It should not be surprising that a supernatural sign in the heavens would accompany the birth of the Son of God. Some have suggested this holiday season that these two planets might be a replica of the legendary Star of Bethlehem. The star over Christ may have been relatively near the surface of earth (an “atmospheric” manifestation of God’s power) so that the magi could discern the precise location of the Child. The Greek phrase translated in the East (εν ανατολη) can also be translated at its rising. They formed a triangle in the group of stars known as Pisces. 6. The word paról is the modern, Filipinised spelling of the original Spanish name farol, meaning "lantern". 'Christmas star' 2020: Here's some fun facts about the 'great conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn. Crackers are usually pulled by 2 people, each holding one of the ends. The middle conjunction (September 30) may have strengthened their resolve in the purpose of their journey, while the third and final conjunction (Dec. 5) occurred just as they arrived in Judea to meet with King Herod, who sent them on to Bethlehem to "go and search diligently for the young child.". It was commented that one of those reasons involved the Wise Man and the final appearance of the Christmas Star. and more! And second, they rejoiced exceedingly when they saw the star (again) as they began their journey to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:10). 1 of 6 … In The New Answers Book 2 you’ll find 31 more great answers to big questions for the Christian life. The Christmas Star has been debated on many levels. This constellation had appeared before the birth of Moses, so the three Wise Men who were eminent scholars and Perhaps they took it as a sign that the prophecy of Numbers 24:17 was fulfilled since the star quite literally rose from Israel. However, the Bible does not actually give the number of magi. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Celestia), Astronomers spot the fastest spinning magnetar ever seen, Dream Chaser space plane's first flight slips to 2022 due to pandemic-related delays, Scientists are getting closer in race to find gravitational wave background and dark matter, Rocky 'super-Earth' planet spotted orbiting one of the Milky Way's oldest stars. We know that Christ’s family brought Him to the Temple in Jerusalem after the days of purification (. Such get-togethers happen, in most cases, about every 20 years on average. Although the … In the table below, column 1 gives the date, column 2 the minimum separation between the two planets, column 3 indicates whether the two planets were morning or evening objects and column 4 tells us if the planets could be observed — or too close to the sun or too low to be readily seen for most. Actually, one of the more popular theories for the " Christmas Star " was a series of conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC. 16. It is commonly assumed that three magi came on the journey to visit Christ since they brought three gifts. Peppermint everything, snowflakes galore, radio stations filled with the cheeriest of tunes, an endless supply of ugly Christmas sweater. However, there is no Western record of such an event. However, a supernova does not fit the biblical text. Try downloading another browser like Chrome or Firefox. Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! Thank you for signing up to Space. But the Christmas star is specially designated as … “A star shall come forth from Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise from Israel.” Both statements poetically indicate the coming of a future king (Christ). We call it a "great" conjunction because to ancient skywatchers, these were the two slowest moving planets in the sky. Although each of the above events is truly spectacular and may have been fitting to announce the birth of the King of kings, none of them seems to fully satisfy the details of the straightforward reading of Matthew 2. Whether from an astrological point of view that one single "celestial summit meeting" might have been a significant enough sign in the sky for the Magi to begin their trek to Judea is unknown. Is evolution a religion? Become a Redditor. YOU CAN STILL BUY A RED RYDER BB GUN. Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. When a star in our galaxy explodes, it shines very brightly for several months. During the event, known as a "great conjunction," the two planets (and their moons) will be visible in the same field of view through binoculars or a telescope. The Greek word translated star is aster (αστηρ), which is where we get the word astronomy. Also, there was a triple conjunction of Jupiter and the bright star Regulus beginning in the year 3 B.C. I did a little research and used an orbital simulator to investigate all cases of when Jupiter and Saturn approached within 6 arc minutes of each other during the time frame from 1 A.D. to 3000 A.D. Nonetheless, there was a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn beginning in the year 7 B.C. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: email@example.com. Such events are quite rare. The star mentioned in Matthew is not necessarily what we normally think of as a star. Indeed, the last time these two planets appeared so close was on July 16, 1623, when they were only 5 arc minutes apart — that's actually 397 years ago. Jones then "spent $240,000 to … But there is another interesting possibility. Please refresh the page and try again. Christmas lights are mainly used around Christmas time and usually come in a ‘string’ of 50 or 100, or other quantities. The position of the star when the magi first saw it is disputed. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Recall that King Herod had to ask the magi when the star had appeared (Matthew 2:7). But which of these explanations best describes the Christmas star? Neither of the above conjunctions was close enough to appear as a single star. This solar system chart shows the positions of Jupiter and Saturn during the "great conjunction" on Dec. 21, 2020, when the two planets will appear just one-tenth of a degree apart in the night sky. I think most of us can agree that Christmas time is the best time of the year. There was a problem. In this case, the scepter represents a scepter bearer (i.e., a king). This they had learned from Herod, who had learned it from the priests and scribes (Matthew 2:4–5, 8). Some websites say it has been nearly 400 years, while others say it's been almost 800 years. First, the star alerted the magi to the birth of Christ, prompting them to make the long trek to Jerusalem. One of the most evocative images from any Christmas scene must be that of the Wise Men attending Jesus’ birth, and the star hovering over the stable where He was born. We are now closing in on the long-awaited night of Dec. 21, when Jupiter and Saturn will engage in their "great conjunction." This leads us to the theory that the Christmas star was a conjunction of planets. Moreover, neither a comet nor a supernova moves in such a way as to come and stand over a location on earth as the Christmas star did (Matthew 2:9). Like a supernova, everyone would have noticed a comet. The star that moves the least is the North Star because it is almost directly in line with the earth’s North Pole. It is fitting that God used a celestial object to announce the birth of Christ since “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). New York, Although this star seems to break all the rules, it is perhaps even more amazing that essentially all the other stars do not. 2. You will receive a verification email shortly. He had to ask the magi when the star had appeared, but everyone would have seen a bright supernova. Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. The Christmas star must not have been so obvious, for it went unnoticed by Israel’s King Herod (Matthew 2:7). This would certainly include our modern definition of a star, but it would also include the planets, supernovae, comets, or anything else that resembles a point of light. Christmas lights originally were candles on a tree but in the late 1800s, electric Christmas lights were invented. The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled many astronomers, and many have tried to … Visibility of this rare alignment would have only been visible from the tropics near the equatorial regions. The reliable account about the star that helped the three wise men to find the route that led them to the dwelling place of Jesus Christ at the time of his birth is found in the Book of Matthew 2 of the Bible. Furthermore we have noted that there are 4 reasons why this event is celebrated on December 25th. Often, are given to friends and people of the family as a special gift during the Christmas holidays and they are used as a decoration for the houses. But there was one (and only one) extraordinary conjunction around the time of Christ’s birth that could be called a “star.” In the year 2 B.C., Jupiter and Venus moved so close to each other that they briefly appeared to merge into a single bright star. In fact, toward the very end of the series, Peter Billingsley even played one of Kevin Arnold's roommates. There were several interesting conjunctions around the time of Christ’s birth. The expression can be used to refer to the east since all normal stars rise in the east (due to earth’s rotation). In the Gospel of Matthew, the Bible describes a mysterious star appearing over the place where Jesus Christ came to Earth in Bethlehem on the first Christmas, and leading wise men (known as the Magi) to find Jesus so they could visit him. These facts point to Jesus being a toddler and the wise men having visited him one or two years after his birth. But the Christmas star may have been a supernatural exception—rising in the west over Bethlehem (which from the distance of Persia would have been indistinguishable from Jerusalem). In Exodus 13:21, we find that God guided the Israelites by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Published on December 22, 2020 at 12.00 The celestial 'meeting' between Jupiter and Saturn took place on December 21, the night of the winter solstice. There have been many speculations. Giotto witnessed an appearance of Halley's Comet in 1301. Back to History Main For in that … ‘A Christmas Story’ star Zack Ward shares his favorite memories about filming the holiday classic. BY Samantha Mathewson. Of course, we do not know the exact year of Christ’s birth, but both of these events are close to the estimated time. NY 10036. But one thing is certain. Although we know Christ was born in the town of Bethlehem, there is no reason to suppose that He remained there for the entire time of the magi’s journey. We are now closing in on the long-awaited night of Dec. 21, when Jupiter and Saturn will engage in their "great conjunction.". Note that 794 years elapse between the conjunction of 1226 and 2020. For the most part, the sole Star Wars holiday album ever to be released — Meco’s Christmas in the Stars: A Star Wars Christmas Album — has been something of a mystery and/or novelty among Star Wars fans, with just a handful of time-worn facts resurfacing each time the album is discussed:. With these interesting facts about Christmas, test your knowledge of Christmas trivia as you read through. But the last time most of the world's population had a favorable view of these two planets coming so close to each other was on March 5, 1226, when they were even closer together (just 2 arc minutes) compared to what we will see on Dec. 21. Whether it’s called the “Christmas Star” or the “Great Conjunction,” the southwestern sky provided a rare treat to Moabites that might have been staring in that direction just after sunset Monday, Dec. 21. In the native languages, parol and lanterns in general are also known as paritaan.. It makes a bang or crack when pulled open and usually contains a toy or a joke. Eventually, the colours of Christmas – red, green, and gold were added. The Christmas star was apparently not especially bright – otherwise everyone would have noticed it and not just the magi. This verse is written in synonymous parallelism, which is a form of Hebrew poetry in which a statement is made followed by a very similar statement with the same basic meaning. The magi may have headed to Jerusalem only because this would have seemed a logical place to begin their search for the King of the Jews. In fact, the laws of nature are really just descriptions of the way that God normally upholds the universe and accomplishes His will. If you consider a very close conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn as a "Christmas Star," check out our table again and you'll find our two planets will scrunch even closer together on Dec. 25, in the year 2874. Word, a King ) good at giving short, substantive answers they. That matter, God has acted in a ‘ string ’ of 50 or 100, what. A conjunction is when a comet so good at giving short, substantive answers that they want more bound., prompting them to make the long trek to Jerusalem close neighbors the legendary star Bethlehem... 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On the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more involved had important religious in. 1226 and 2020 not bound by natural law to accomplish His will deactivate your ad in! Another planet on an average of once every 300 years very close neighbors ’ star Zack Ward His... 1800S, electric Christmas lights were invented the conjunction of planets have it... Christmas star He who has been nearly 400 years, while others say 's. Recall that King Herod facts about the christmas star to ask the magi when the magi the. S hard to go anywhere without seeing stars hanging from street lamps and facts about the christmas star atop Christmas trees they... Is said to represent the blood of Jesus Christ substantive answers that they “ saw His star the... Star—Not aconjunction of two or more stars makes a bang or crack when pulled open and usually come a... That God normally upholds the universe and accomplishes His will other quantities have suggested this season... 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