Stories tagged retrograde


Star of Bethlehem: Giotto - Scrovegni

A nova or planets in conjunction?

How might a scientists explain the "Star of Bethlehem" story? A search of the internet yielded some interesting information. Both Chinese and Babylonians note a 5 BC object that lasted about ten weeks and a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces around 7 BC.

In 3-2 BC, there was a series of seven conjunctions (stars appearing close together), including three between Jupiter and Regulus and on June 17, 2 BC Jupiter and Venus came together so close that to most people they would seem to be a single very bright star. Wikipedia

2 B.C. deserves attention.

On August 27, 2 BC, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn would have all been together in the same part of the sky just before sunrise. For the magi or wisemen, who used the planets' movements amongst the constellations to foretell of the coming of a new king or Messiah, there were enough striking events transpiring in 2 B.C. that they would have felt that the year was being singled out for their special attention.

If you wish to learn more, here are three sources I found usefull:

This presentation is also helpful.

If you read through these references, I would be interested in hearing what you think in the comments.