If you are familiar with the night sky and have had some good weather recently, you may have noticed that something is wrong with the constellation of Orion. Normally, Betelgeuse, the bright, orange-red star, marking the left shoulder of the giant, is only a little fainter than Rigel, the blue-white star to the bottom-right of [...]
Where are and where were, all the bright Novae?
One of the key pieces of evidence in the case of the Star of Bethlehem is the record of the object seen in March 5BC, classed by Clark and Stephenson in 1975 as a probable nova on the basis of its long duration and fixed position. People also make great store of the evidence that [...]
The Star of Bethlehem: An Afterthought
Afterthought (January 16th 2018): One note to add that bears remembering. As was pointed out in post #9, we know that Chinese records from the period between 20 BC and 1 AD are almost certainly incomplete. In this twenty year period there are just four records. If we follow the conventional reasoning, two of these [...]
Star of Bethlehem X: Trying to Explain the Star
My apologies that this wrap-up piece has been delayed. I had intended to have it posted on January 1st, but the previous posting took longer to complete than I expected and, after that date, other commitments stopped me writing for a time. ------------------- After our walk through the evidence and through the different theories for [...]
Star of Bethlehem VIII Ancient Observational Records I: Persia and Babylon
Until the early 1960s the resources for studying the ancient sky were minimal. Astronomers such as Johannes Kepler could calculate the positions of the planets two thousand years ago, but laboriously by hand. Astronomers could make reasonable estimates of when Comet Halley would return and could look back to see if there was any bright [...]
Star of Bethlehem VII: Clever, but almost certainly wrong!
There have been dozens, if not hundreds of theories to explain the Star of Bethlehem. In this sense it is similar to the death of the dinosaurs where many dozens of theories have been proposed, but just two or three are real candidates to be correct. Here are a few of the less likely ones: [...]