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Every time the story of the very first Christmas is told, we hear about an amazing star that shone in sky over Bethlehem and was understood to be a sign from God announcing the birth of Jesus (Matthew 2).

Did it really happen?

What astronomical phenomena could have caused it?

Why did the Wise Men interpret it as signifying the birth of the King of the Jews?

These questions are addressed in an illustrated talk and slide show presented by Howard Jones. His findings are based on the latest historical research and accurate astronomical analysis, using the same tools and techniques used by NASA to plan deep space missions. He demonstrates and interprets the astronomical events in the sky over the Middle East around the time of the birth of Jesus with unexpected and compelling results.

Howard has spent 45 years in the space industry including the last two decades planning deep space missions to other planets and asteroids. “Usually, when you’re planning missions, the analysis is predicting what’s going to happen astronomically in the future … this is putting it in reverse, and "winding back" astronomical time to see what stars were visible in the Middle East at the time of the nativity", he said.




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Image: Coptic icon of the Nativity