- Victoria Gill
- Science Reporter, BBC News
Jupiter and Saturn meet in the night sky, which appears to the naked eye as a “twin planet”.
This extraterrestrial phenomenon led some to speculate that the sky may have been a source of bright light 2,000 years ago.
Something called the Star of Bethlehem – the brightest star that appeared at the birth of Jesus,
Every night the planets move closer and closer and reach their nearest point on December 21st.
Star viewers in the UK will be constantly monitoring the weather movements to avoid the disappointment of not being able to watch the event.
“It’s good to take chances on any clear night because the weather is not good,” Dr Carolyn Crawford of the Cambridge University Astronomical Institute told the BBC.
If there is a gap in the winter darkness, both planets will appear in the southwest sky, just above the horizon after sunset.
Is this the return of the star of Bethlehem?
Some astronomers and theologians think so.
Professor Eric M. Vandon Eagle, a professor of religion at Ferrum College in Virginia, points out in an online article. According to him, “could this be the same astronomical event as the star recorded in the Bible, which raised the three Magi to Joseph, Mary, and the newborn Jesus?”
This is not just modern speculation regarding Christmas celebrations. The theory that Jupiter and Saturn are a “magic star” was proposed by the German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler in the early 17th century.
“2,000 years ago, people knew more about what was going on in the night sky,” says Dr. Crawford.[jadi] Bethlehem’s star is unlikely to be such a parallel planet. “
How rare are these natural phenomena?
When the planets around the sun meet, the connections are not very rare, but this time they are special.
“Links are the best things to look for – they happen often – but [agar planet sedekat ini] “It’s very unusual,” said Tim O’Brien, an astronomer at the University of Manchester.
The two planets – the largest in the solar system and some bright objects visible in the night sky – have not been close to each other in the dark sky for 800 years.
“The planets are located in the southwest, so you have to get out of there as soon as the sky starts to get dark.
“We both won’t be living for another 400 years, so watch the weather and get out if the opportunity arises,” Professor O’Brien said.