The Star of Bethlehem

Many people put a star atop their Christmas tree, as a symbol of the great light that shone at the time of Christ's birth.

The scientific look at the Star of Bethlehem, next, on Stocking Stuffers.

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The Three Wise Men began their travels to look for the baby Jesus, after seeing a great light shine in the night sky.

But astronomers now say it may not have been a star at all.

Indeed, there are no records of comets or supernovas at the time that would explain the phenomenon. The most likely explanation is a conjunction of the planets. That kind of astronomical event would have lasted long enough, and have been bright enough, to guide the Wise Men on their journey from the East.

It's believed there was a planetary conjunction around the time Christ was born. Astronomers say Jupiter and Saturn were in close alignment between the constellations at the time, now identified as the end of May, in the year 7 B.C.

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