CHRISTMAS should be celebrated in June, according to a Mid North Coast stargazer who claims he's pinpointed the exact date the Star of Bethlehem shone in the sky.
Renowned astronomer Dave Reneke has tracked the appearance of the 'Christmas star', which the Bible states three wise men followed to find Jesus.
Using complex computer software to chart the exact positions of stars, Mr Reneke found that a bright star did appear over Bethlehem 2000 years ago – but it was June 17 not December 25, and it may not have been a star at all.
“Venus and Jupiter became very close 2000 years ago and they would have appeared to be one bright beacon of light,” Mr Reneke said.
“Astronomy is such a precise science, we can plot exactly where the planets were, and it certainly seems this is the fabled Christmas star. There's no other explanation that so closely matches the facts we have from this time.”
Mr Reneke said the wise men probably interpreted it as a sign and followed the 'star' to Christ's birthplace in Bethlehem.
But he said the theory was not an attempt to decry religion.
“Often when we mix science with religion in this kind of forum, it can upset people,” Mr Reneke said.
“In this case, I think this could serve to reinforce people's faith as it shows there really was a bright object appearing in the East at the time.”