Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Vassallo: Mystery of the Christmas Star

For many years, I have been intrigued with astronomy and actually took this class while at Ole Miss. Today I am equally as fascinated with what occurs above us in the heavenly skies.
In the early 1990s, Rosie and I escorted a group of eighth graders in our Sunday school class (we were the directors for the youth program) to a most interesting Christmas program at the Nashville Planetarium. I had no earthly idea what we would see and remain amazed today at what we actually witnessed.
The primary focus of the program was to identify what the Christmas Star actually was based upon scientific charting of planets, comets etc. dating back several thousand years. The conclusion was that there was a most unusual alignment of the planets at the time of the birth of Christ. The planets involved were Jupiter and Saturn aligning with the Sun and Moon.
Recently I began exploring what others have to say about this subject, surfing the Internet as a start. I stumbled upon a story Fox News published Dec. 23, 2007, that I believe is worth sharing for those who have not read it.
According to the article the “Star in the East” as described by Theoretical Astrophysicist Grant Mathews was unlikely a Supernova and more probable an alignment of planets.
In 1604, German astronomer Johannesburg Kepler proposed that the “star” was a conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C. Mathews, however, had access to the databases of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration in forming his opinion. He concluded that on April 17, 6 B.C the Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Saturn aligned in the constellation Aries. He was able to narrow his research based upon other known historical facts such as Herod’s death occurring following an eclipse of the moon. Eclipses are able
to be documented extending years into the ancient world.
The story of the birth of Christ gets even more interesting in attempting to solve the puzzle who were the Magi, where did they originate and why did they bring the gifts they did?
One theory is the Wise Men were Zoroastrian Astrologers who would have recognized the planetary alignment in Aries as a powerful leader being born. In addition, this same alignment would also have meant that the “leader” was destined to die at an appointed time. This could possibly explain the gift of Myrrh which was used as an embalming fluid in this era.
The presence of Saturn also signified a most powerful leader due to “strength” associated with the ringed planet. This subject will be forever debated and discussed, but as for now in 2014, based upon all we can deduce through history and science, the above scenario may be as accurate as we can conclude for believers worldwide.


Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.