As twilight fades, stars of the night sky begin to appear, drawing attention to the magnitude of the brightness of these two planets in conjunction.
A pastor friend of mine offered the following information regarding the connection of this conjunction to Christmas:
“The last time a “grand conjunction” between Jupiter and Saturn occurred was 1226 A.D. Previous to that was 7 B.C., which was followed up by a very similar conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 3 B.C. Johannes Kepler, a major figure from the scientific revolution which began in the 17th century, the scientist who first correctly explained the motion of the planets, referred to this as a “triple conjunction” because of the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and the sun. He pointed out that this triple conjunction occurred three separate times in 7 B.C., a view confirmed by modern science. For dedicated, serious ancient stargazers like the Magi, this might have been just enough for them to saddle up their horses – or their camels – and take the long, long ride to Israel to check it out.”
The magnified conjunction, showing Jupiter and its four largest, most visible moons on the left, and Saturn to the right.
4 thoughts on “The Christmas Star”
Wonderful photos. The landscape makes a perfect setting for those celestial gems.
I was at first worried that clouds would prevent us from seeing the “star.” As it turned out, the clouds created the perfect framing and magnificent color that I could not have imagined in advance.
What excellent combinations of a sunset with planets and stars.
As you know, Steve, photography is usually a matter of giving yourself a chance to get lucky. Thanks for the comment.