The brightest planets in our Solar System, Jupiter and Venus, will come maximally close to one another in the night sky on July 1st. It is generally believed that the beautiful celestial event was called the "Star of Bethlehem" in the past.
However, scientists postulate that it was more likely for the Star of Bethlehem to have been formed by more than 2 planets. The convergence of Jupiter and Venus happens every year, while in 2015 we will have the opportunity to see it 3 times.
The 1st time was on February 6th but unfavorable meteorological conditions did not allow people to actually enjoy the view. But the sky will be clear enough on the night of July 1st to allow us to spot the "embrace" between the 2 planets with the naked eye.
As always, this cosmic phenomenon too will be visible in the western horizon, with the most beautiful scene playing out in the morning around dawn.
The next conjunction between Jupiter and Venus will occur on October 26 and given that that's right in the middle of fall, with a high possibility of clouds and rain, astronomers advise not missing the convergence on the 1st.
The 2 planets will look like a double shining star in the night sky. According to NASA data, the distance between them will be less than the diameter of a full moon, so anyone will be able to cover the 2 planets with just the tip of their thumb of an outstretched hand.
Jupiter and Venus will come together in the Leo constellation, just like they did thousands of years ago, according to Roger Sinnott's calculations, when the Babylonians called the event the "Star of Bethlehem".
Since Jupiter and Venus are the planets of luck in astrology, while the Leo is the symbol of royal authority, it was believed that the Star of Bethlehem lit up the sky to announce that the new king had been born.
Still, modern scientists theorize that the Star of Bethlehem was a convergence of 3 or 4 planets, which is truly rare.
It is also postulated that the "star" could have been the result of diffuse solar reflection in a dust cloud or the appearance of Haley's Comet.See more