Samford University The BelltowerDecember 2003

Ministers of the Year

Samford Invites All to View Star of Bethlehem

"...At 7 p.m. on December 11, 12, 15, 18, and 19, the Samford University planetarium will present a multimedia video production that examines all aspects of this powerful Christian symbol..."

Perhaps no Christian symbol other than the cross of crucifixion captures people’s attention more than the star associated with Jesus’ birth. For two millennia its certainty has evaded scholars and scientists from around the world. At 7:00 p.m. on December 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19, and at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on December 20, the Samford University planetarium will present a multimedia video production that examines all aspects of this powerful symbol.

The production, titled Star of Bethlehem, presents a historical perspective of this event while examining astronomical phenomena such as bolides (fireballs), comets, supernovae and conjunctions between stars and planets, and also allowing for a "miracle star" explanation. It provides a rare opportunity to cultivate new interest in astronomy, and viewers need not have any previous experience in the subject to enjoy the event.

During the Star of Bethlehem program, planetarium director George Atchley will describe the differences between the Christmas sky of 2002 and the sky over Jerusalem on December 25, 01 B.C. Atchley also will lead a brief discussion of planetary motion and some of the constellations dominating the winter sky. The final portion of the program will include a video-based presentation that floods the front half of the planetarium's dome with images as the important historical and astronomical events surrounding the birth of Jesus are presented.

Samford University's Sciencenter planetarium, opened in 2001, is the largest of its kind in an Alabama school, one of only two of its kind in the South, one of fewer than six in the entire nation and one of fewer than 12 high-technology, large-scale, immersive theaters in the world. The 100-seat facility, which features a 200-degree wraparound screen, is located in the north wing of Samford's Sciencenter.

Admission is free of charge and groups are welcome, but seating is first-come-first served. Groups of 10 or more are requested to call in advance. For information, call 726-4139.

More info about... the Star of Bethlehem (off-campus link)

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