All of the details as well as when it can be viewed again!
On December 21st, 2020, a very rare event occurred. The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, aligned with each other and created an extremely bright light visible from the Earth’s night sky. This phenomenon is better referred to as the “Star of Bethlehem” or the “Christmas Star”. In the Bible, after Jesus’ birth, the Wise Men were directed to the stable where Jesus was born in Bethlehem by this very star. Hence, the name of the star is the Star of Bethlehem or the Star of Christmas. The last recorded event of these planets aligning and creating this star was on March 4th, 1226. Although Jupiter and Saturn do align about once every 20 years, referred to as the Great Conjunction, this is the first time in about 800 years that the alignment resulted in the Star of Bethlehem or a very bright light. This natural event was the most visible on the 21st, but you can go see it anytime, anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere during the entire fourth week of December. In other words, the proximity between these planets is so close that from Earth, it appears that the two planets have combined into this giant ball of light, or a star.
The alignment of the planets over the course of time demonstrates how these two planets converge into what appears to be a single star. Photo courtesy of ABC News.
There are speculations from scientists that this event has occurred before in 1623, but there are no written records to prove this statement. Astronomers predict that Jupiter and Saturn aligned just as sunset, blocking the view of the “star”.
An actual image; compared to the other stars, the Christmas Star is much brighter and stands out. Photo courtesy of WSPA
The alignment of Jupiter and Saturn cause this extremely rare star to form, and it should be enjoyed. However, if you didn’t catch the Star of Bethlehem that is an amazing occurrence of nature, it will be visible once again in 2080. So, only fifty-nine more years if you want to see this infrequent, natural happening in-person or if you missed it last December. Whether this star is a symbol of good fortune, happiness, and bliss in 2021 or some kind of ominous warning or reminder of 2020, everyone will soon find out based on how 2021 treats the citizens of the world and United States. We live in very eventful and often turbulent times, the appearance of this star after 800 years is perhaps one of the biggest and most obvious proofs of the suddenness of this era.