Christmas Star 2020

Christians learn that a very bright star appeared at the time of the birth of Jesus. This bright star was positioned above Jesus and could be seen from far away. This star is known as the “Christmas star.” The stars have an ancient connection to faith.

More than a fun fact and greater than a delight to view in the sky, the Christmas Star has a special excitement for Christians during the final month of an extraordinarily difficult year. The Christmas Star of 2020 provides great context to rekindle the wonder and awe we find in both the skies and biblical history.

Exactly what is the Christmas Star of 2020?

The extra bright “star” will occur when Saturn and Jupiter align. Together, these two planets will look like a “double planet” and will produce a significant amount of light. The date for best viewing of the ‘Christmas Star of 2020’ will be on December 21, 2020, which will create a celestial treat to ring in winter on the day of the 2020 solstice.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan. “You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”

Jupiter and Saturn have been approaching one another in Earth’s sky since the summer. From Dec. 16-25, the two will be separated by less than the diameter of a full moon.

The so-called “Christmas star” should be visible in the southwest sky about 45 minutes after dark on Dec. 21. (National Weather Service Seattle)

“On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon,” said Hartigan, a professor of physics and astronomy. “For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.”

1 2 3 Four reasons we are looking forward to seeing the Christmas star of 2020 and how it is a part of our Advent.

Star Lights The Way

The Bible says the very first Christmas Star directed shepherds and then the Three Kings to Bethlehem to find newborn Jesus. The star was over the birthplace of Jesus and pointed the way to find him. Therefore, the Christmas Star “lights the way to Jesus.”

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star.”

The Christmas Star of 2020 May Look Much Like the Original ‘Christmas Star’

It is thought that Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn may have aligned to form the first “Christmas star.” Considering we have two of those planets aligning now, something that hasn’t happened in this way for centuries, we get to have a very real and tangible example of what the star would have looked like during the birth of Jesus.

Astronomical Reminder of a Faith Connection

When we take a moment to look for the bright “star” in the night sky, we may feel connected to the events that took place during the time around Jesus’ birth. We can wonder how the shepherds and the three wise men felt as they searched for Jesus using the star as their guide. We can think of Mary and Joseph who sat under the bright star. We can also use the appearance of this bright star as an opportunity to learn more about our faith and Christmas. .  

Phenomenal Example of God’s Impressive Creation and Power

Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.”

The Bible says God created the heavens and our planet. This includes every speckled star we see in the night sky. Therefore, we are invested in the beauty of everything God created –seeing the “Christmas Star” in the night sky is a spectacular example of his work. 


Imagine YOU are seeing the first Christmas Star. What are your wondering thoughts? How does the star make you feel? If the angels came to you and told you to follow the star to Jesus, would you go find Him?