Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2012-11-12

The popular multimedia presentation, "The Star of Bethlehem," will be shown nightly December 10-14 in Samford University's Christenberry Planetarium. The hour-long show will begin at 7 p.m.

The presentation addresses evidence that could explain a natural cause of the famous star referenced in the New Testament gospel of Matthew.

According to Christenberry planetarium director George Atchley, 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler offered the possibility of a supernova as an explanation of the Christmas star.

"Since Kepler's time, our understanding of celestial dynamics has changed considerably, but explaining the star of Bethlehem remains a mystery," said Atchley.  "However, as historical and scientific clues continue to collect, perhaps Matthew's account of the star is better explained as the result of a naturally occurring event."

Or, is the star a miraculous occurrence that defies natural causes?  Atchley says that the presentation's virtual journey to Jerusalem and Persia will offer strong possible answers.

Admission is free. All ages are welcome, but the show is more suitable for age 8 and above. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are required, although groups of 10 or more may request a private showing.  The 96-seat planetarium is wheelchair accessible and is located in Samford's Propst Hall.

For more information, contact Atchley at (205) 726-4139 or


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.