Star of Bethlehem? Jupiter, Venus to pair up for bright celestial event

A glorious conjunction between the two brightest planets in our night sky occurs Tuesday evening, June 30.

Right after the sun sets at 8:26pm, head outside and look west. Just above the horizon, you'll see a bright object in the night sky as Jupiter and Venus come within 1/3 of a degree of each other. Viewing conditions will be best about an hour after sunset when the sky is darker but the planets are still above the horizon. If you wait too long, the planets will set below the horizon and you'll miss it.

Some are calling this "The Star of Bethlehem" conjunction because Jupiter and Venus did something similar near the star Regulus in 3/2BC. Many astronomers have speculated that this ancient celestial event is the one recorded in the Bible's Gospel of Matthew.

During this conjunction, Jupiter and Venus came within 1/100 of a degree of each other, becoming indistinguishable to the naked eye.

Right now, our sky forecast for Tuesday evening calls for partial clearing and thinning of cirrus clouds left over from scattered afternoon thunderstorms. If you happen to catch one of those breaks in the clouds and snap a picture, post it to social media with #abc13eyewitness or email it to
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