Star of Wonder
What do we know about the Star of Bethlehem?
Could any of these known star movements have been the Star of Bethlehem?
7 BC late May: First of 3 conjunctions (coming together) of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces (occurs only once every approximately 900 years other two in September and December).
6 BC February: a coming together of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn again in Pisces, (approx. every 800 years).
5 BC March-April: Chinese astronomers recorded a nova in the constellation Capricorn visible for over 70 days.
3 BC May 19th: Saturn and Mercury came together.
3 BC June 12th: Saturn met with Venus.
3 BC August 12th: Jupiter and Venus came together just before sunrise, appearing as a very bright morning star.
3 BC Sept 14th: Jupiter came close to Regulus (meaning ‘king’) which is the chief star in Leo, the Royal Constellation.
3 BC late summer or early autumn: The Roman five yearly census. Was this the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem? This is probably the year that Jesus was born (not 25th December).
3 BC December 1st: Jupiter stopped its motion through the fixed stars and began its annual retrograde motion and was reunited with Regulus (king) on 17th February 2 BC, and continued its retrograde motion another 40 days and then it reverted to its normal motion through the stars which remarkably placed Jupiter into a third conjunction with Regulus on 8th May 2 BC. To observers, it appeared as though Jupiter (representing the highest God) was circling over and around Regulus, the King Star.
2 BC June 17th: Venus and Jupiter joined together again (in the constellation Leo) during the evening and would have appeared as one very bright star.
2 BC August 27th conjunction Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury in the constellation Leo, another rare astronomical event. This was seen by astrologers as ‘common agreement of purpose’. It probably also signaled to the Romans a new and powerful beginning for Rome.
2 BC Rome celebrated its 750th year since it was founded.
2 BC 25th jubilee year of the reign of Caesar Augustus as Emperor.
2 BC Between early September and late December Magi arrive in Bethlehem?
Jupiter then, due to retrograde motion, appeared to ‘stop’ in the sky, as viewed from Jerusalem, directly to the south, over Bethlehem. It came to its normal stationary position at dawn on December 25th, 2 BC. Not only that, but the planet came to a stop in the constellation Virgo. It remained there for nearly six days.
Some more thoughts and questions:
Could Jesus have been born in the late summer/early autumn in 3 BC?
Was it the joining of Venus and Jupiter that made the Magi (Wise Men) go to Jerusalem?
1 BC January 10th there was a total lunar eclipse: The works of Flavius Josephus states that Herod died after a lunar eclipse and was buried before Passover. (That is the Herod who tried to kill the baby Jesus).
[Sorry I have lost the different references for this information – main computer mother board has broken, backup computer’s hard drive went a few days later – hopefully I can find it when I get one repaired!]