Celestial event is tonight

On Dec. 20-22 of 2020 the celestial event of a lifetime will occur. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear to come together to form a bright object in the southwestern sky, most pronounced on Dec. 21, the winter solstice. Jupiter and Saturn will appear 14 degrees above the horizon in the constellation of Capricorn. This is called a conjunction and according to the Farmer’s Alamanc of 2020 in the Visible Planets section, this will be the premier astronomical and must-see event of 2020. It will be the great conjunction of our lifetime, two-thirds of the Star of Bethlehem. Mars was the third planet to cause the Magi’s star, but it is not involved at this time.

An excellent resource is the December show at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago called “The Star of Bethlehem.” The planetarium machine can show mathematically the stars and planets as they were at the time of Jesus’ birth. My wife referred me to Matthew 2 and Luke 2 for more biblical information.

This is real folks. I pray that there will be no clouds early in the evenings of Dec. 20-22.

The Star of Bethlehem that the Magi followed was made up of three planets which are much farther from the Sun than Earth. Therefore, their position changes very slowly over the two to three month period that it took the Magi to travel to Jerusalem. At that point they had spread apart enough that they were no longer a bright object. After the Magi came to Jerusalem to ask King Herod where the Christ child lay, a new planetary conjunction occurred with two planets, Venus and Mercury. They were closer to the Sun so they changed position in the sky rapidly and were soon gone, but not before the Magi had found Jesus in Bethlehem. Herod had told them he too wanted to find Jesus to worship him, but sensing danger the Magi did not believe him and went home another way.

Astronomers have searched historical records of the Chinese, Inca, Babylonians and the Maya along with other scientific communities at the time. In no other civilizations were any celestial occurrences recorded similar to the Star of Bethlehem. The Magi had long before assigned a certain constellation to the Jews and it was in this constellation that the first Star of Bethlehem and the brief second star occurred.

This is the real deal, it will occur. Believe what you want but I think this is two-thirds of the Star of Bethlehem. I’m 78 years old now and it won’t happen again in my short remaining lifespan. Maybe my youngest grandson who is 5 years old will see it again, but of course he won’t remember this one.

So be it — whatever you believe, please enjoy the viewing.

Greg Olson

Fort Dodge


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