The stars that appear in the sky today are the same ones
that were there two thousand years ago. Was there a nova
at the time of Jesus' birth? The exact time of His birth
is not known, but astronomers cannot place a new star
appearance anywhere near the possible time. Could it
have been a shooting star? Again, the astronomers say it
was not likely. A meteor lasts only a few seconds or
minutes at best. The wise men followed the star for
weeks looking for Jesus. We can rule out comets as well.
They can be seen by the naked eye for a week or months.
But modern astronomers know which comets were close
enough to earth hundreds and thousands of years ago and
there was no comet visible to humans around the time of
star gazers suggest that if we move the birth of Jesus
to the springtime of 6 B.C., we can attribute the star
to the time the planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were
close together in the heavens. They formed a triangle in
the group of stars known as Pisces.
wise men, themselves, were astrologers and studied the
stars and planets and knew, according to Jewish rabbis,
of the triangle and that it had appeared before the
birth of Moses. Perhaps they interpreted it as a sign of
a great event in the land of the Jewish people. This may
have been the star of Bethlehem. Pisces became the
special constellation of the Hebrew people.
many people prefer to believe that the strange star did
appear, and that it was simply a miracle and throughout
the world today, the Christian holiday has usually begun
with the appearance of the first star of Christmas Eve.
Festival of the Star is held in Poland. Right after the
Christmas Eve meal, the village priest, acts as the
"Star Man" and tests the children's knowledge of
religion. In Alaska, boys and girls carry a star shaped
figure from house to house and sing carols in hopes of
receiving treats. In Hungary a star-shaped pattern is
carved in a half of an apple and is suppose to bring
general, the Christmas star symbolizes high hopes and
high ideals - hope for good fortune, hope for reaching
above oneself. For all human beings, regardless of
religion, stars have special meaning for all share the
heavens, no matter what barriers keep them apart on