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December 14th, 2009

December 14, 2009

It was said:

A star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel

Numbers 24:17

and

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Matthew 2:10

Rogier van der Weyden – Bladelin Triptych

In art work, the star has taken varied and beautiful shapes and forms:

But was there really a star?  Scientists and theologians have a plethora of theories.  One proposal by astronomers is that the star was actually a comet.  That’s a possibility.

Last night, Sunday the 13th, skywatchers in the northern hemisphere turned their heads upwards to see the annual Geminids meteor shower, with an expected 140 shooting stars per minute.  According to Space.com,

Geminds are bits of debris left in space by a strange object called 3200 Phaethon. First thought to be an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon is now classified as a dead comet. Whatever its label, when it orbits the sun, it sheds debris that forms a stream, through which Earth passes each December. Most of the stuff is the size of a pea or smaller, and as these bits enter Earth’s atmosphere, they vaporize, creating the streaks of light.

Here is a photo from another meteor shower in 1999:

A nova, a planet, a comet, an occultation, or a conjunction?  Who knows?

Maybe it was a star…..

Oh Holy Night, by The Fray

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2009 2:54 am

    We had a perfect night on Kauai to see the meteor shower. And so many shooting stars. It was magical! Aloha from Rob

    Hi Rob – thanks for visiting all the way from Kauai!! How lucky you were to see that meteor shower. It was about 5 degrees here, so I didn’t venture out! Happy holidays to you!!

  2. December 19, 2009 5:58 pm

    Love that first image, especially. And the meteor shower. Wow. I don’t know if it matters to me if it was a star or a comet or anything else. It was something. Something beautiful, something different, something meaningful. And look how it has traveled through the generations. A lovely, and interesting post.

    I was wishing I could get out to see that meteor shower, but it was really cold and also cloudy, so sleep won out!!

  3. December 31, 2009 8:36 am

    I saw the star when I was a child. We were in our first house, and I was in my footie pajamas, not a pajama set, so I was probably between 4-8. I was in the upstairs “den”, my dad’s office on the second floor, looking out the east window. I actually was looking for Santa, of course, but on my second trip back to the window, there was a brilliant star, hanging just above the cherry trees. I watched it for about a half hour, and then went to the bathroom to get a drink. When I came back it was gone.

    But I saw it 😉

    MAGICAL!!

  4. December 31, 2009 8:40 am

    Oh! I just found Jim Christensen’s conviction that “believing is seeing”. I guess I believe that!

    Ooooooo I love that line – I was going to include it in the post somehow, and spaced it out. Thanks for adding it here – “believing is seeing” for sure!!!

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