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Christmas Star To Be Visible For The First Time In 800 Years

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Christmas Star To Be Visible For The First Time In 800 Years

Jupiter and Saturn are set to align to create the first visible 'Christmas Star' in 800 years.

The celestial event, known as the Great Conjunction, appears every 20 years, but this year's will be the closest the two planets have been since 1623.

However, it will be the first conjunction to be visible to the naked eye since 1226, with the next expected in 2080, so you won't want to miss it.

According to Dr Stuart Clark, the 'star' should be visible looking south-west at around 5pm (GMT) on Monday (21 December), and will be joined by a bright crescent moon.

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Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, said it was a special event.

He said: "Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another.

The 'Christmas Star' will be visible for the first time in 800 years. Credit: PA
The 'Christmas Star' will be visible for the first time in 800 years. Credit: PA

"You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.

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"On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon.

"For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.

"The further north a viewer is, the less time they'll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon."

It is called the 'Christmas Star' or 'Star of Bethlehem' as some believe that the star that guided the 'three wise men' to Jesus could have been an extremely rare triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.

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When the planets align, they create a bright light, which gives them the appearance of a huge star.

Pastor Paul backtracked on his claims the world was going to end. Credit: YouTube
Pastor Paul backtracked on his claims the world was going to end. Credit: YouTube

But if one preacher had been correct, the event may have meant for something much more ominous than a rather delightful spectacle.

Earlier this year, Pastor Paul Begley announced that the end of the world was set to occur next Monday, a 'theory' he had concocted from a combination of the Mayan calendar and the Great Conjunction.

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However, he recently backtracked on this idea, you will all be pleased to know.

In a video posted to his YouTube channel, the preacher admits that he cannot be certain as to a date for the end of days, because no one knows that but the big man upstairs. Which seems fair.

He says: "The end is near, I'm just gonna tell you right now, the end is near. Now, well, people wanna know what day, what hour, what year?

"The Bible says no man knows the day nor the hour, no. Not the angels in Heaven, not the son of God, but the Father only. We know this in Matthew 24."

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Strange, you might think a pastor such as Paul would have previously skimmed through Matthew during his years of studying the Bible, and would have already known this particular passage.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Christmas, UK News, jupiter, space

Dominic Smithers
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