- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Capricorn comet wasn’t ‘Star of Bethlehem’
As a retired physicist and astronomy hobbyist, I read with interest about the astronomical reference in “Killing Jesus: A History” by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (“Book review: ‘Killing Jesus,’” Commentary, Sept. 26). The date of 5 B.C. in the month of March is specifically mentioned in the book as the time frame of Jesus‘ birth.
In a footnote on page 15, the authors speculate that in the hours before dawn on that date, a comet located in the constellation of Capricorn may have served as the Star of Bethlehem. Using astronomy software that I own, it is possible to determine the appearance of the stars from any point on Earth for any historical date and time. For the date in question, the constellation of Capricorn would have been seen to be located in the southeastern sky at 4 a.m. from the skies of Persia (from which the Magi are thought to have traveled). The constellation would have been positioned even farther to the East at earlier hours.
Since the Magi would have been traveling to the West in order to reach Bethlehem, a comet located in the southeastern sky could not possibly have served the purpose of a guiding light.
JEAN C. PIQUETTE
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
Get Breaking Alerts
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, dies at age 95
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements