Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a famous astronomer. But like other astronomers he had a problem to find work that would guarantee a regular income. So he was lucky to get work as "Styrian landscape mathematician" in Graz. One of his tasks was to write an annual calendar of weather forecasts and policital developments on the basis of astrological facts. He correctly predicted a conflict with the Osmanic Empire, although it is not clear whether the stars or the newspapers were the cause for that. Both his horoscope for Wallenstein and his book "Warnung an die Gegner der Astrologie" are well known. Kepler believed in some aspects of astrology, the influence of the planets for example. He deduced this front his ideas about physics. He neglected other aspects of astrology. e.g. the significance of the zodiac. In 1604 Kepler observed a new star and believed in a connection to a special and very rare planetary conjunction. After a Jupiter-Saturn-conjunction Jupiter met Mars. Kepler speculated that the star of Bethlehem might be a new star which was generated after a similar conjunction and recalculated it for 6/7 BC. Nowadays examples of both astronomical (and astrological) interpretations of the star of Bethlehem exist. The best known is the three time conjunction of 6/7 BC. But the interpretation of Martin (1980) for 213 BC seems equally excellent. Vardaman (1989) takes the Halley comet of 12 BC to be the star of Bethlehem. Other speculations arise from two Novae in the years 5 and 4 BC, tabulated in sources from the Far East. But historians tell us that there is no need fo a real star. The text in Matthew, book 2 is a legend. What is important in regard to the understanding of the star of Bethlehem is the "sidus Julium" the comet which could be seen in the sky during Caesar's funeral and the match of the King of Armenia Tiridates to Nero in Rome during. There was no real star over Bethlehem. All we have are interesting speculations, like those by Kepler.
Acta Universitatis Caroliae. Mathematica et Physica Supplement
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