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From: Bald Eagle
Subject: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 4 Dec 2020 13:55:00
Message: <web.5fca85ca3785212e1f9dae300@news.povray.org>
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


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From: Ash Holsenback
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 4 Dec 2020 17:00:56
Message: <5fcab198$1@news.povray.org>
On 12/4/20 1:54 PM, 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
> 
> 
just think how different things would be if either (or both) of those 
puppies had gotten big enough for them to then merge ... we'd be living 
(or maybe not) in a binary system


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From: Bald Eagle
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 4 Dec 2020 17:35:01
Message: <web.5fcab959992b80f81f9dae300@news.povray.org>
Ash Holsenback <no### [at] spamcom> wrote:
> just think how different things would be if either (or both) of those
> puppies had gotten big enough for them to then merge ... we'd be living
> (or maybe not) in a binary system

.... or if the Utah monolith hadn't disappeared...   ;)  :D


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From: Cousin Ricky
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
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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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 19 Dec 2020 02:28:34
Message: <5fddaba2@news.povray.org>
Op 19/12/2020 om 02:09 schreef Cousin Ricky:
> 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...
> 



> 

> impression that this event was a predictable outcome of the regular 
> clockwork of the Solar System.
> 



> 


> impressively close, but not close enough to appear as a single point for 

> pair will not appear much more "radiant" than Jupiter does alone.
> 


> 

> article arguing that since the account in Matthew was a faith-based 
> story, attempts to identify an actual corresponding astronomical event 


> the lines that all those murdered babies are living it up in heaven, but 

> Jesus' birth are unknown.
> 
> Lest you call me a killjoy, the reality not meeting an expectation would 



I agree.

Or this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_(Clarke_short_story)

-- 
Thomas


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From: Ton
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 19 Dec 2020 05:10:00
Message: <web.5fddd080992b80f88987c46d0@news.povray.org>
One of the most interesting youtube-videos I ever saw (besides POV-ray movies)
is this one. I am not a historian or theologian, but it all makes sense to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50


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From: Ash Holsenback
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 19 Dec 2020 12:05:14
Message: <5fde32ca$1@news.povray.org>
On 12/18/20 8:09 PM, Cousin Ricky wrote:
> 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...
> 



> 

> impression that this event was a predictable outcome of the regular 
> clockwork of the Solar System.
> 



> 


> impressively close, but not close enough to appear as a single point for 

> pair will not appear much more "radiant" than Jupiter does alone.
> 


> 

> article arguing that since the account in Matthew was a faith-based 
> story, attempts to identify an actual corresponding astronomical event 


> the lines that all those murdered babies are living it up in heaven, but 

> Jesus' birth are unknown.
> 
> Lest you call me a killjoy, the reality not meeting an expectation would 



hey why is it you can't find a flux capacitor when you need it... sheesh 
we could go and see for ourselves


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From: Cousin Ricky
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 19 Dec 2020 14:58:16
Message: <5fde5b58@news.povray.org>
On 2020-12-19 6:05 AM (-4), Ton wrote:
> One of the most interesting youtube-videos I ever saw (besides POV-ray movies)
> is this one. I am not a historian or theologian, but it all makes sense to me.
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

Wow.  I am neither historian nor theologian, but my bullshit meter is 
off the charts on this video.

My first hint that something was amiss (and I've been seeing claims like 
these for 15 years) was the Sun = Son equivalence.  This is an artifact 
of the English language, which did not exist at the dawn of Christianity!

It is easily verified that the Sun is *never* in the vicinity of the 
Southern Cross (Crux), and certainly never appears south of it, as in 
the illustration.  My first thought was that the Sun is aligned 
north-to-south with Crux, and the illustrator just made a boneheaded 
mistake.  (I've seen similar mistakes on the likes of The Science 
Channel.)  But even this interpretation has its problems.  Precession 
means that this alignment takes place at different times through the 
ages.  When has the alignment been on the solstice?  When the Horus myth 
was developed?  At 4 BCE?  At 2010 CE?  I consulted my planisphere, and 
the Sun is nowhere near alignment with Crux in December 2020.  Even 
worse, going back into the past has the alignment moving in the wrong 
direction!  The last time the alignment occurred was before recorded 
history.  This claim appears to have been fabricated out of whole cloth, 
along with that illustration.

And then there is the near alignment of Sirius with Orion's belt.  Maybe 
the belt stars have been called "the three kings" by some people at some 
time, but I have never heard of it until seeing this video just now, and 
as an amateur astronomer, I have been exposed to a lot of astrological 
mythology.  Maybe they were so claimed in the movie _Zeitgeist_, but I 
haven't bothered myself to waste time on that movie.  Wikipedia confirms 
this moniker, but aside from having no [citation], says that the name 
was derived from the Bible, not the other way around.  The Bible doesn't 
say how many magi there were, or that they were kings, so this is 
clearly later tradition.  If the videographer wishes to tie Orion's belt 
to Matthew's birth story, he needs to find a mythology that pre-dated 
the Middle Ages.

The near alignment is true all year round, not just on December 24.  And 
it *cannot* point toward sunrise at any time, ever, because it points 
away from the ecliptic.  Both of these facts were known to the ancients. 
  So far, we have two claims of the Sun wandering far outside the zodiac 
constellations, an anomaly which should be instantly spotted by any 
astrologer, let alone someone who is knowledgeable about astronomy.

But maybe the illustrator just made the same boneheaded mistake as they 
did with Crux, and painted the Sun in the wrong direction?  Nope, that 
would have the Sun in Taurus, when it would have been in Capricornus[1] 
during December of the year Jesus was born, and in Aquarius when Moses 
was alleged to have lived.

There is nothing about these astronomical claims that comports with 
reality, and even during the time when astronomy and astrology were the 
same discipline, the ancients could not have observed any such patterns.

I haven't gone though all the claims of parallels between Jesus and the 
other gods.  I just know that some of them are true, and some are just 
extrapolations on the part of religious skeptics who fancy themselves 
immune to wishful thinking.

Of course, it is well known that Jesus was not born on December 25.  No 
one knows when Jesus was born, so early Christians just picked a day 
when all the other gods were celebrating their birthdays.  This is no 
revelation, and about the only Christians who have a problem with this 
are the Jehovah's Witnesses, who are bigger killjoys than I will ever be.

Less known is that the video has a point about the virginity.  No one 
knew Jesus was born of a virgin until nearly a half century after he 
died.  The first written mention of the Virgin birth was in Matthew, 
written ca. 80 CE, and the author based his claim on a "prophecy" that 
was based on a mistranslation of Isaiah!  The author of Luke knew of the 
virgin birth story, but it is clear from his genealogy in chapter 3 than 
the mythology was as yet incomplete and was still being worked out. 
(The author of Matthew never noticed that his genealogy totally 
subverted the virgin birth idea.)

It's complicated.

The human brain is a pattern matcher.  It is so efficient it finds 
patterns that aren't there.  There are many facts in this video, and 
certainly Judaism and Christianity borrowed extensively from the 
religions surrounding them; but many of the conclusions in the video are 
spurious.  It seems that the author was first bent on disproving Jesus 
and Christianity, then collected every claim he could without verifying 
them.  The video should not be dismissed out of hand, but each claim 
needs to be evaluated individually.

_________________
[1] "Capricorn" is the astrological name.  "Capricornus" is the 
astronomical name.  Since I am describing stars, not signs, in this 
context, I used the latter.


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 20 Dec 2020 02:39:12
Message: <5fdeffa0@news.povray.org>
Op 19/12/2020 om 18:05 schreef Ash Holsenback:
> On 12/18/20 8:09 PM, Cousin Ricky wrote:
>> 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...
>>



>>

>> impression that this event was a predictable outcome of the regular 
>> clockwork of the Solar System.
>>



>>

>> apart, or half the distance between Mizar and Alcor of the Big 


>> with bad vision, the pair will not appear much more "radiant" than 
>> Jupiter does alone.
>>


>>

>> article arguing that since the account in Matthew was a faith-based 
>> story, attempts to identify an actual corresponding astronomical event 


>> read between the lines that all those murdered babies are living it up 

>> 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 

> 
> hey why is it you can't find a flux capacitor when you need it... sheesh 
> we could go and see for ourselves

Dangerous stuff. You could end up like Karl Glogauer in Michael 
Moorcock's "Behold the Man". ;-)

-- 
Thomas


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From: Cousin Ricky
Subject: Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Date: 20 Dec 2020 12:15:01
Message: <web.5fdf8670992b80f860e0cc3d0@news.povray.org>
Thomas de Groot <tho### [at] degrootorg> wrote:
>
> Dangerous stuff. You could end up like Karl Glogauer in Michael
> Moorcock's "Behold the Man". ;-)

Or this.


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