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."