If you’ve been watching the news, you may have heard that Jupiter and Saturn are inching together in the sky and soon, will merge its’ light together to create an amazing looking ‘Christmas Star’.
You can expect to see the best viewing of it on December 21, 2020 though if you watch every night until then, you’ll notice Jupiter getting closer to Saturn.
What is the ‘Christmas Star’?
The event of this great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest observable in about 800 years! The last time such a close pairing was seen on earth to the naked eye was in 1226, according to EarthSky. Some say the pair will look stacked over one another lengthwise and look like an “elongated star” on that date.
For more information on the star, go to https://www.today.com/news/christmas-star-will-show-jupiter-saturn-s-closest-alignment-800-t203057
Is it really the ‘Christmas Star’?
Scientists believe the true ‘Christmas star’ conjunctions involved the constellation Leo the Lion, the planet Venus, the planet Jupiter and the star Regulus.
“To the Babylonians, the lion represented Israel. Venus was motherhood. Jupiter stood for fatherhood or kingship. And Regulus symbolized royalty. Put these together in the Babylonian mindset and what do you get? A clear and repeated message that a grand king had been born in Israel… ‘Nine months after that first conjunction – nine months – the gestation period of a human. We see Jupiter and Venus come together to form the brightest star anyone had ever seen,’ Rick Larson said.”
How do I see it?
The best time to look is a little over an hour after sunset. It will be in the Southwest sky. Again, the best day to see it will be December 21 but the days before and following should give you a nice view at well. The ‘star’ won’t be very high up in the sky so it’s important to find a place that is unobstructed by trees or a tall mountain. Try to find a clearing or open field on a clear night. You are welcome to use the church parking lot and look towards the mountains and a little to the left. The star will be visible to the naked eye but binoculars or a telescope could give you a better look.
How do I commemorate this event?
This is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to thank Jesus for humbling himself to take human form- to become a needy baby and fully understand life on earth. Watch the ‘star’ and think of that Holy Night. Pray. Sing! And whether you are alone or with others, I also suggest you read a short passage of scripture about the star, which can be found in Matthew 2:1-12.
The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Don’t miss this opportunity as Jupiter and Saturn will not appear this close in the sky again until 2080, according to NASA.