Tech UPTechnologyThe star of Bethlehem was not a star

The star of Bethlehem was not a star

The Gospel of Matthew tells of some wise men from the East who came to Bethlehem to worship the newborn Jesus, guided “by a star” that has become a religious icon through two millennia of works of art and now adorns millions of nativity scenes of the world every Christmas.

But, assuming that the phenomenon had taken place, was the star of Bethlehem a star, a supernova, a planetary conjunction, an unknown astronomical event …?

Grant Mathews, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Notre Dame (USA), has spent more than ten years studying this enigma that has intrigued many scientists, believers or not for centuries.

A unique conjunction

From the analysis of historical, astronomical and biblical records, Mathews has hypothesized that the “star” that guided the magicians – perhaps Zoroastrian priests from Mesopotamia – was actually the visual product of a very strange planetary alignment that occurred. in the year 6 a. C.

During this alignment, the Sun, Jupiter, the Moon, and Saturn were in the constellation Aries; Venus was in neighboring Pisces; and Mercury and Mars on the other side, in that of Taurus. In addition, the Sun was in the first point of Aries, that is, that the event occurred in the middle of the spring equinox (that Jesus was born in winter was an invention of later centuries).

According to Mathews on the website of his university, the presence of Jupiter and the Moon signified the birth of a leader with a special destiny. Saturn was a symbol of life, as was the situation of Aries at the spring equinox. The fact that the alignment occurred in Aries implied that someone very important had just come into the world.

“The magicians could have seen this phenomenon and recognized that it symbolized the birth of a great leader in Judea,” says Mathews, who has made some surprising calculations: the next similar alignment will occur in 16,000 years, and without the spring equinox being in. Aries Mathews adds that an alignment like the one that occurred in Bethlehem two millennia ago will not be seen again for half a million years, if there are humans left on Earth who continue to look up at the sky.

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