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    The Star of Bethlehem and Navigation
    From: Marcel Tschudin
    Date: 2008 Dec 30, 20:59 +0200

    Could this have been a historical navigation exercise?
    
    Just to inform you at the beginning: I don't know well the bible and
    even less navigation. This Web-page here helped me now a bit to catch
    up on the first.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi
    
    There have been a lot of speculation in the past of what the star of
    Bethlehem might have been, such like a comet or a special
    constellation of some planets. There is now a new(?) theory. After
    studying various texts a person came to the conclusion that this star
    has likely been Venus in the morning-sky at the moment when it changed
    its movement from retrograde to normal. According to his calculations
    this moment would have been on September 1st, 2 BC. For those of you
    who do know German they can read some of his explanations here
    http://bazonline.ch/wissen/geschichte/Der-Stern-von-Bethlehem-war-die-Venus/story/29467985
    
    Now where may come navigation into play? There were the three magi (or
    Kings) who found the child by FOLLOWING A STAR. It doesn't seem to be
    clear where the three persons came from; it looks however like they
    started at distant place(s). I'm just wondering now whether around
    this time some particular constellation (Lunar?) existed, which could
    have been used to find the area of Bethlehem. Could it be that a
    certain occultation may only have been visible in this area which they
    possibly may even have been able to calculate beforehand?
    
    I don't know if the present positional astronomy programs would have
    sufficient accuracy for investigating the possible navigational help
    the magi may have had about 2000 years ago. In case the accuracy would
    be sufficient, it should actually be easy to see whether around this
    time the location was part of an area where a special constellation
    could be seen.
    
    Marcel
    
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