A popular question this time of year is about the Star of Bethlehem. People wonder just what it was. Some believe there was a real astronomical event that led three skilled observers to a tiny town where a long awaited savior had been born. Continue reading →
¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending December 28, 2013
A popular question this time of year is about the Star of Bethlehem. People wonder just what it was. One explanation says it’s just a tall tale that made its way into Christian scriptures. Another says it was an atmospheric phenomenon called St. Elmo’s Fire. And another says it was something only the wise men who traveled to Bethlehem could see because God wanted only them to see it. Other explanations look to astronomy and astrology.
Looking for long ago astronomical events is easy with modern computing. Knowing what astrologers thought is a challenge though. And divergent historical records confound us as we try to put things on a timeline.
Let’s remember that the Christian year count wasn’t used anywhere until a papal scholar estimated 532 years to have passed since Jesus Christ’s birth. He’s now thought to have erred by perhaps ...