What was the astronomical reality behind the star that, according to the Gospel of Matthew, guided the Magi to the young Jesus? This episode examines almost 20 centuries of theories, including meteors, novae, supernovae and comets... but is the truth to be found in a combination of astronomy-and astrology? Recent theories suggest that the "star" was the planet Jupiter in a series of conjunctions with other planets, stars and constellations, and that these conjunctions were interpreted by the Magi-astrologers and priests of the Zoroastrian religion-as heralding the birth of the Jewish Messiah.
From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in this epic exploration of the Universe and its mysteries. It's a very old universe. Yet just 50 years since man first ventured into outer space, the heavens are yielding their greatest secrets. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars - NASA probes slam into comets at hyper speed - deep-space telescopes capture unhappy images of the birth of stars and their collapse into black holes. All have significantly changed the way we see ourselves.
We wonder, is there anywhere else out there that that can support life? Using cutting-edge computer graphics, this series brings the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on other planets, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres. Episodes examine how discoveries were made and the scientists and explorers who dared to venture into the uncharted territory of the universe.
The Universe - Star of Bethlehem Synopsis and Schedule