Will you need a telescope to see the Star of Bethlehem?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

You will not need a telescope to see the Star of Bethlehem. This celestial event, known as the Great Conjunction, is a rare alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn that will be visible to the naked eye. It is set to occur on December 21, 2020, and will be the closest alignment of these two planets since the year 1623. This means that we haven’t witnessed such a close alignment in over 400 years!

The Star of Bethlehem has long been a subject of fascination and speculation. It is mentioned in the Bible as the guiding star that led the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. Many theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, ranging from comets and supernovae to planetary conjunctions.

While we may never know for certain what exactly the Star of Bethlehem was, the upcoming Great Conjunction provides a unique opportunity to observe a similar celestial alignment that could offer some insights. Jupiter and Saturn will appear exceptionally close to each other in the night sky, creating a bright and eye-catching spectacle.

To view this event, all you need is a clear view of the southwestern sky shortly after sunset. Find an open area away from city lights and look towards the horizon. Jupiter will be the brighter of the two, resembling a bright star, while Saturn will appear slightly dimmer and a bit further to the left.

It’s worth mentioning that while a telescope is not necessary to see the Great Conjunction, using one can enhance your viewing experience. With a telescope, you will be able to see the two planets and their moons in greater detail. However, even without a telescope, the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will be easily visible to the naked eye.

If you have a pair of binoculars, they can also be useful in observing this event. They will allow you to see the two planets and their moons more clearly, and you may even be able to make out some of Saturn’s rings.

You do not need a telescope to see the Star of Bethlehem, or rather the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. This rare and significant alignment will be visible to the naked eye, making it a wonderful opportunity for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts alike. So mark your calendars for December 21st and witness this spectacular celestial event for yourself!