When Will the Star of Bethlehem Appear Again?

When will it be possible to see the Star of Bethlehem again in our lifetimes? Read here to find out about this and its relevance to the great conjunction.

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published December 29, 2021.

The star of Bethlehem is a very popular Christmas symbol in the Christian faith. It is mentioned in the Gospels as the sign that showed the Magi where to find Jesus when he was born. It is also known as the Christmas star; some even confused it with the North Star.

How Often Does the Star of Bethlehem Appear?

The star of Bethlehem only appears roughly every 800 years. The last time we were able to see the Bethlehem star was in December of 2020, with its brightest point being the 21st. The next time the two planets will align is in 2080, even though it will not be as close as in 2020.

Unfortunately, this means that the Star of Bethlehem will not be visible in 2021 or 2022.

Is the Star of Bethlehem the Same as the Great Conjunction?

Scholars believe that the Star of Bethlehem results from the great conjunction. The Great Conjunction is the rare occasion where the two planets Jupiter and Saturn pass each other so closely that it seems to be one bright star to the naked eye. It is called the Great Conjunction because these two planets move very slowly around their orbits.

It is known as the Christmas star after scientists investigated the appearance of these conjunctions and found that it happened very close to the date of the birth of Jesus.

Unfortunately, most of us will not be able to see this phenomenal occurrence again. It was visible in the year 2020 and will only be visible again on 15 March 2080, but is usually visible all around the earth at this time.