"The Star in the East"
The "Star in the East" that led the wise men in their journey to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago has long been a puzzle for Christian astronomers. In 2008, the Associated Press reported that astronomers, theologians and historians attempted to determine exactly which star might have inspired biblical passages. As noted in a previous column, Grant Mathews, an astrophysicist at the University of Notre Dame, confirmed the date of the star's appearance in 2009. In 1604 German astronomer Johannes Kepler believed that the star appeared within the alignment of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C. Matthews tapped the databases of NASA to verify when the star occurred, the star's characteristics and verification that others identified it. More on the "Star in the East" tomorrow.