Special star? Comet? Planet? Theories abound about star of Bethlehem

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If it weren't for the Gospel of Matthew's brief reference to a star guiding Magi from the East to the newborn Messiah, "we wouldn't know anything about the star of Bethlehem," according to a Minnesota astronomer. The Gospel account is the only historical reference from that time correlating a celestial event with Jesus' birth, said Terrence Flower, a professor of physics at St. Catherine University in St. Paul who has delivered an annual public lecture about the star in the lead up to Christmas for more than 30 years.

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