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Christmas Star Parties

20 Dec 2009, 19:25 UTC
Christmas Star Parties
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I do several public star parties each year. Overall, it probably amounts to a little more than one every two months. Typically, I give a public talk about some topic in astronomy, and then we do viewing through telescopes that I bring. Usually, there are a few amateur astronomers who come and set up their telescopes, too. Once in a while I schedule star parties in December. Over the years, I’ve done several December star parties. Frequently, given the holiday season, people ask me about the Star of Bethlehem. So, I worked up a Christmas presentation a few years ago about some possible celestial events that could have been the Star. I make it clear that this is all speculation. I don’t know for sure what was seen at that time, but it is fun to think about any actual celestial events that were occurring in the sky about the time of Christ’s birth. I’ve given this presentation several times in the last few years. This year, I gave it twice, last night and the week before, at different state parks in the area. Attendance was very light. In fact, the park rangers outnumbered the park guests!
In years past, ...

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