Star Of Bethlehem -- Closest Highly Visible Conjunction Of Venus & Jupiter In 2000 Years On June 30, 2015 | PlanetSave

Star Of Bethlehem — Closest Highly Visible Conjunction Of Venus & Jupiter In 2000 Years On June 30, 2015

After an absence of roughly 2000 years the Star of Bethlehem may soon be making a return to our night skies on June 30, 2015 — to be more specific Venus and Jupiter will be making their tightest highly visible conjunction in nearly two millennia.

The reference to the Star of Bethlehem is with regard to the fact that there was a very similar ultratight conjunction between the two — and close by the star Regulus (as this one will be), and high up in the sky (as this will be as well) — in 3-2 BC. Some astronomers have in the past speculated that this earlier conjunction is what the “Star of Bethlehem” referred to.


At the very least this conjunction will make for a very impressive sight in the night’s sky. The two bright planets have already begun moving closer and closer together in the last evening sky over the past month, this convergence will continue until the evening of June 30, 2015. Those interested should look in the western portion of the evening sky to see the conjunction. Roughly an hour or so after sunset is probably a good time — but obviously there’s some flexibility there.

Relatively close to this conjunction will be one of the brightest stars in the constellation of the Lion, the star Regulus. As mentioned above, the ultratight Jupiter-Venus conjunction back around 3-2 BC was also located near this very bright star. (For those with an interest in history, this is around the same time that the Olmec Civilization in Mesoamerica was reaching near complete disintegration after millennia of dominance of the region.)

While the tightest conjunction will be on the night/evening of June 30, there’ll be a week or so of impressive sights in the days before and after the conjunction.

On the night of June 30th the two planets will so close enough together that they’ll appear to a very bright “double star” — with the outstretched tip of a pinky finger reportedly being enough to cover both up.

Worth noting is that while the two planets vary considerably in size, they’ll appear roughly the same size in the night’s sky owing to Venus being considerably closer than Jupiter. For those wondering, Venus is the brighter one that moves around more (as it follows the Sun around on its path through the sky).

Image Credit: Screen Capture

Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.

About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.
  • Occam

    God? Which one? Yawey? Zeus? We are talking about PLANETS! Not spirits!?! It’s a post Galileo world girly, so do ur brain a favour and try and overcome ur bereft religious beliefs and go google ‘ the enlightenment ‘ yes I know it hasn’t reached the USA yet but be the first on your ( southern fundamentalist baptist ) block to hear the news.

    • frankwick

      why so much hate? Please be tolerant of peoples’ beliefs. The post-Galileo world preaches tolerance.

    • Brandy Saulman Miller

      God is God no matter what the name he/she is called. I will be outside having a look, but I love science. I always thought that God was the ultimate scientist. Would have to be to have created everything. So, I aspire to be like God in that I am always learning and studying and trying to better my understanding of the world around me… I also try to believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could call me an optimist. There are more things Horatio… just because you cant see it or touch it does not make it less real…

    • Robert Bell

      No need to be a dick, just cause you don’t believe in what they do.

  • Kristy Beard Burkholder

    So interesting! Look at a map of Israel. It’s Jerusalem and Bethlehem?! So cool! God is amazing