Monday, February 27, 2012

New Stars Over Bethlehem?

On Saturday night I was doing the washing up and happened to glance out of the window to see a sliver of new moon like a smile (or a cereal bowl) in the night sky. Aha, Silent Sunday! I thought and rushed to get my camera. However, on posting the picture, there was more to it than I had originally realized.

Here is the photo from the night of 25.2.12, looking west over Jerusalem. Just above the moon to the left is a planet. When I first saw it I purposely tried to incude it in the shot as I thought it was a bright star. But in fact, alerted by the one of the comments under my post, it is a planet.

I did some googling (as one does) and found out that on that night the sun, the moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus would all be aligned and visible to the naked eye. Some reports say that Mars was also present earlier in the evening but soon slipped below the horizon. And the show was due to continue on Sunday night 26.2.12.

So last night I took some more photos and I definitely got both Jupiter and Venus (below the moon) in these shots. Also interesting to see (if you can) is that the moon was partially eclipsed on two sides - the top and the right. One of the eclipses was the earth and the other... Mercury maybe? Anyone with a bit of knowledge on this subject is invited to leave a comment to enlighten us. Thank you.

Before I leave you with these pictures I want to mention that (the little town of) Bethlehem is about 10 minutes drive to the south of where I live. Some accounts speculate that what the Magi (the three wise men/Kings) actually saw in the sky may have been Jupiter. They came from the east and so they were looking west. Jupiter to the left of the moon would look like it was pointing south of Jerusalem (earlier in the evening than when I took this photo). Reader, I didn't follow the star.



7 comments:

  1. If I had seen that I would probably have thought it was a UFO.

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    1. LOL - as there are two of them you may have thought it was an alien invasion! ;)

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  2. Aaaaaaaaah!!!! Thank you so much for this post!!! I saw the exact same thing from my house in Buckinghamshire. The 'star' was so bright that I actually called my OH and Big Sis to come and take a look. Don't you love the fact that you can stand in completely different places in the Northern Hemisphere and still be looking up at the exact same sky? I can't wait to tell my OH that it was actually Venus (or possibly Jupiter..!) So interesting about the Star of Bethlehem theory too... xx

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    1. When I was younger and use dto traval more, I always looked ofr Orion the Hunter (the onl constellation I recognised) to feel connected to home as I knew it was above my home aswell. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. didn't follow the star but clearly a wise woman, isn't google great. How did we manage without it!?

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    1. I will never get over how we had whole successful lives without the internet or mobile phones. Thanks for the wise woman thing - I was thinking I'd like to be a ? What's the singular of Magi anyway?

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  4. I noticed these "stars" a few nights ago and couldnt figure it out , thanks for the insite.

    Raelene Goodine Fredericton, New Brunswick

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