Cancel Christmas - Jesus was born June 17, say scientists

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TILALLR1, Dec 12, 2008.

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  1. TILALLR1

    TILALLR1 'Til All Are One

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    Thought this was cool, Christmas related news.

    Cancel Christmas - Jesus was born June 17, say scientists | Mail Online

    "Cancel Christmas - Jesus was born June 17, say scientists
    By Daily Mail Reporter

    Last updated at 9:57 AM on 09th December 2008
    Comments (50) Add to My Stories
    Researchers tracked the 'Christmas star' to a reveal the date of Christ's birth as June 17

    It may not be too late to send the presents back, as astronomers have calculated that Christmas should not be celebrated on December 25 - but on June 17 instead.
    Researchers tracked the appearance of the 'Christmas star', which the Bible states three wise men followed to find Jesus.
    Australian stargazer Dave Reneke used complex computer software to chart the exact positions of all celestial bodies and map the night sky as it would have appeared over the Holy Land more than 2,000 years ago.
    He discovered that a bright star really did appear over Bethlehem 2,000 years ago - but pinpointed the date of Christ's birth as June 17, and not December 25.
    Scientists claim the Christmas star was most likely a magnificent conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter, which were so close together they would have shone unusually brightly as a single 'beacon of light' which appeared suddenly.
    Mr Reneke says the wise men probably interpreted it as the sign they had been waiting for, and they followed the 'star' to Christ's birthplace in a stable in Bethlehem, as described in the Bible.

    Generally accepted research has placed the nativity to somewhere between 3BC and 1AD.
    Using the St Matthew's Gospel as a reference point, Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which appeared in the constellation of Leo, to the exact date of June 17 in the year 2BC.
    Mr Reneke, who is editor of Sky and Space magazine, said: 'We have software that can recreate the night sky exactly as it was at any point in the last several thousand years.
    'Venus and Jupiter became very close in the the year 2BC and they would have appeared to be one bright beacon of light.
    'We are not saying this was definitely the Christmas star - but it is the strongest explanation for it of any I have seen so far.

    'Astronomy is such a precise science, we can plot exactly where the planets were, and it certainly seems this is the fabled Christmas star. There's no other explanation that so closely matches the facts we have from the time.
    'This could well have been what the three wise men interpreted as a sign. They could easily have mistaken it for one bright star.'
    He added: 'December is an arbitrary date we have accepted but it doesn't really mean that is when it happened.
    'This is not an attempt to decry religion. It's really backing it up as it shows there really was a bright object appearing in the East at the right time.
    'Often when we mix science with religion in this kind of forum, it can upset people. In this case, I think this could serve to reinforce people's faith.'
    Previous theories have speculated that the star was a supernova (exploding star) or even a comet.
    But Mr Reneke says that by narrowing the date down, the technology has provided the most compelling explanation yet.

    A leading theory behind why December 25 was chosen as the date to celebrate Christ's birth, was that it was selected by the church as it aligned closely with a major pagan festival, which allowed the church to claim a new celebration for Christianity.

    However, if the findings are correct, it would mean a change from Christmas cards featuring traditional snowy scenes to sunny beach views in June."
     
  2. Sideways

    Sideways Banned

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    Interesting but I'm not religious whatsoever.
     
  3. samtheman

    samtheman Well-Known Member

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    A. How is this acceptable to talk about?

    B. Most religious people know Christs birthday isn't really the 25th of December they just use that day to celebrate his birth. It also has to do with the passover which has to do with the Jewish lunar calendar.
     
  4. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

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  5. TILALLR1

    TILALLR1 'Til All Are One

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    Oops sorry. Just have a bit of an astronomy hobby and I thought this was really cool news and a bit Christmas related. I just never heard of the planetary alignment theory before.

    Didn't mean to offend or discuss religion here. Please delete post. My appologies. Thought it was harmless.
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I didn't think this was religious--he's a historical figure who's birthday has been determined.

    I'd always heard that it wasn't 25DEC on account of when taxes where paid or sumthin', but hearing the science behind it with the accuracy is pretty cool.
     
  7. MegaPrime33

    MegaPrime33 Follow me @NerdActivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    I heard about this awhile ago. Scientists and researchers have said before that it's more accurate that he was born in the Summer rather than Dec. 25.
     
  8. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I dunno...while I agree Jesus is an historical figure, it seems hard to near impossible to seperate the religious from the historic. I thought everyone besides children knew that Dec. 25th is merely a symbolic birthday. Nevertheless, it is an interesting, if somewhat poorly written article.
     
  9. awful_gollum

    awful_gollum Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
     
  10. funkatron101

    funkatron101 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Way to be retired. ;) 
     
  11. TILALLR1

    TILALLR1 'Til All Are One

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    Much Better Article ... love the facts in this one.

    The Christmas Star - Fact of Fiction?

    'Tis the season… And every year around this time people notice the brilliant 'star' to the west just after sunset. For astronomers, we know it's the appearance of the planet Venus, but noticing it for the average person brings on questions about the holidays. Was the Christmas Star real?

    Regardless of your faith, the story of the 'Star of Bethlehem' is one of the most powerful and enigmatic symbols of Christianity. For centuries, scientists, scholars and historians have debated about the nature of this biblical light that heralded an event. Was it purely a divine sign, created miraculously to mark a special birth? Or was it an astronomical event in its own right?

    David Reneke, news editor of Australia's Sky and Space Magazine, believes astronomers may have found the answer - or at least something that fits all the known facts - basing his research on the highly esteemed gospel according to Matthew, the first of the four gospels in the New Testament. It would appear to be the first written and this version places key players together in the same time period. "It's generally accepted by most researchers that Christ was born between 3 BC and 1 AD." says Dave. With the aid of modern astronomy software programs astronomers can reproduce the night sky exactly as it was, thousands of years ago. Humans are curious and so was Dave, so he turned back the hands of time and the stars to the time of that long ago Christmas…

    "We found out something startling." said Reneke, "It looks like the 'Christmas star' really did exist,"

    Two thousand years ago, astronomy and astrology were considered one and the same. The motions of the heavenly bodies were used to determine the events of history, and the fate of people's lives. Of the various groups of priests and prophets of this period, those which commanded the most respect were the Magi - whose origins are not entirely clear. Known as 'wise men' , we can only assume they were actually priests who relied on their knowledge of astronomy/astrology.

    Armed with an approximate date, Dave assumed the 'Star of Bethlehem' was not just a localized event and could be observed by sky-watchers elsewhere in the world, not just by the Magi. Historical records and modern-day computer simulations indicate a rare series of planetary groupings, also known as conjunctions, during the years 3 BC and 2 BC In fact, this was one of the most remarkable periods in terms of celestial events in the last 3,000 years!

    "Like the final pieces of a difficult jig-saw puzzle, our fabled biblical beacon is starting to reveal itself," David said. "On 12 August, 3 BC, Jupiter and Venus appeared very close together just before sunrise, appearing as bright morning 'stars.' It would have been visible in the eastern dawn sky of the Middle East from about 3:45 to 5:20 a.m."

    But it didn't stop there. The crowning touch came ten months later, on 17 June 2 BC, as Venus and Jupiter joined up again in the constellation Leo. This time the two planets were so close that, without the use of our modern optical aids, they would have looked like one single, brilliant star. According to Dave's research, Jupiter was known as the "planet of Kings" and Saturn as the "Protector of the Jews". This could easily have been interpreted as a sign that the Jewish Messiah had been, or was about to be, born. Also, Leo was thought to denote royalty and power. An interpretation? Perhaps. But, do not forget the times in which this occurred. Astronomy and astrology intermingled. This whole sequence of events could have been enough for at least three astrologers to see this as sign in the heavens and make their way Jerusalem.

    "Now, this doesn't mean that astrology works," Reneke said. "We haven't ruled out other possibilities for the Star of Bethlehem but it does make our search more rewarding to find a truly interesting astronomical event that happened during the most likely time for the Nativity."

    Whatever the Star of Bethlehem was, it has had more impact on humankind than any star before or since. It is also possible that the mystery of the Star will never be completely solved. For many of us though, it is the mystery itself that drives us to find the solution.

    David Reneke, one of Australia’s most well known and respected amateur astronomers and lecturers, has over 40 years experience in astronomy with links to some of the world’s leading astronomical institutions. David is also the News Editor for Australia’s Sky and Space Magazine, he teaches astronomy at college level, is an invited speaker at astronomy conventions throughout Australia, a feature writer for major Australian newspapers, and is a science correspondent for ABC and commercial radio stations. In these weekly radio interviews David regularly appears on about 60 networked stations around the nation with all the latest news and on general astronomy and space discovery issues. Look for his story about the "Christmas Star" to air locally on Good Morning, America. Our thanks to Dave for sharing with us!
     
  12. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Just when he thought he was out, they drag him back in!

    Also, I thought this was common knowledge, as the shepherds wouldn't be out in the fields with their flocks during the winter- only the spring or summer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  13. CdnShockwave

    CdnShockwave The Prince of Poses TFW2005 Supporter

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    Oh boy, I can see where this is going. *flees to Sweden*
     
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