This is an opinion article by Robert Pennamon, Community Service Programs Coordinator. The Pilot welcomes letters to the editor and opinion articles from the whole community. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes on page 320 of ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ “The star of Bethlehem is the light of all ages.”
The lore of the star of Bethlehem can be found in the following Bible verse: “Instructed by the King, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time” (Matthew 2: 9-10, ‘The Message’)!
On the winter solstice, Monday, December 21, the planets Jupiter and Saturn will shine brightly, through a great conjunction that will not happen again until the year 2080. This conjunction involves Jupiter and Saturn – which are actually 450 million miles apart – seeming to be one star “just one-tenth of a degree apart, or about the thickness of a dime held at arm’s length, because they line up with Earth in their respective orbits, according to NASA,” says an article on Space.com.
“This rare event is special because of how bright the planets will be and how close they get to each other in the sky,” says Virginia Tech astronomer Nahum Arav in the article. In 1623, the planets’ alignment could not be viewed from the earth because it was too close to the sun. In 1226, mankind was able to view the planets’ positions closer together. So, this will be the closest visible alignment in 800 years.
On Monday, December 21, the St. Louis weather forecast is sunny, with a high of 55 degrees. The event can also be viewed without your binoculars or telescope. To view the St. Louis event, please look for the two bright dots low in the southwest horizon, which can only be seen after sunset at 4:43 p.m. CST and until 7:00 p.m. The Chicago weather forecast is cloudy, with a high of 43 degrees, so the conjunction should be viewable one hour after sunset at 4:23 p.m. CST, and visible until 7:00 p.m. So just be happy, and shine like a star!
Featured photo by Tobias Bjerknes on Unsplash.