What Was the Star of Bethlehem? Astronomy Meets Religion in Slooh Webcast

Polaris, the North Star
The bright North Star, Polaris, from Slooh Observatories. (Image credit: Slooh)

What cosmic light could have guided the Three Wise Men to the newborn baby Jesus 2,000 years ago? Learn about all the theories in a free webcast today (Dec. 23) by the online Slooh Community Observatory.

During the show, experts in both religion and astronomy will discuss what the famous Star of Bethlehem might have been: Was it an actual star, a comet, a planet or something else? You can watch the webcast at Slooh.com, beginning at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT).

You can also watch the Star of Bethlehem show here at Space.com, courtesy of Slooh. [Related: What's Up in the Christmas Night Sky?]

The webcast will feature Slooh host Eric Edelman, Slooh astronomer Paul Cox, Fr. James Kurzynski, who is a Catholic priest and a blogger for the Vatican Observatory, and astronomy journalist and author Bob Berman. 

"Both Berman and Fr. Kurzynski have written extensively about the potential culprits behind the famous Star of Bethlehem. They’ll share what they’ve learned, as well as their personal beliefs, live on the air," Slooh representatives wrote in a statement.

Cox will "teach viewers how they too can hunt for comets, and other astronomical objects, using Slooh’s observatories," they added.

Viewers can join in on the show, ask questions and express their own theories by tweeting them to @Slooh or by joining the live chat on Facebook.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.