POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.off-topic : First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years : Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years Server Time
19 Oct 2021 11:33:03 EDT (-0400)
  Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years  
From: Cousin Ricky
Date: 18 Dec 2020 20:09:42
Message: <5fdd52d6$1@news.povray.org>
On 2020-12-04 2:54 PM (-4), Bald Eagle wrote:
> For the several solar system modelers amongst us:
> 
> Jupiter and Saturn Will Align to Create the First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800
> Years
> 
> https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/jupiter-saturn-christmas-star-48024008

Here we go again...

   "As 2020 comes to a close, the solar system has decided to grace us
   with a cosmic Christmas miracle that hasn't been witnessed in nearly
   800 years."

I am curious as to how Ms Vargas defines "miracle."  I was under the 
impression that this event was a predictable outcome of the regular 
clockwork of the Solar System.

   "On Dec. 21 (aka the December solstice), Jupiter and Saturn will align
   so closely in the night sky that they'll almost appear to collide from
   our vantage point here on Earth, creating a radiant point of light..."

No they won't.  First of all, they will appear about 6 arcminutes apart, 
or half the distance between Mizar and Alcor of the Big Dipper.  This is 
impressively close, but not close enough to appear as a single point for 
someone well-corrected vision.  But even for people with bad vision, the 
pair will not appear much more "radiant" than Jupiter does alone.

   "... often referred to as the 'Star of Bethlehem' or the 'Christmas
   Star.'"

Pure speculation, among many.  Back when I was a Christian, I read an 
article arguing that since the account in Matthew was a faith-based 
story, attempts to identify an actual corresponding astronomical event 
are misguided.  I was convinced, and stopped trying to find a scientific 
explanation for the star.  It's a nice story, provided you read between 
the lines that all those murdered babies are living it up in heaven, but 
it's just a story.  The sad fact is that the circumstances surrounding 
Jesus' birth are unknown.

Lest you call me a killjoy, the reality not meeting an expectation would 
be a bigger letdown than my explaining what is actually going on.  It 
will be pretty.  Go out and enjoy it!


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