An astronomer looks for the Christmas Star 2016

hypatia-of-alexandria_121216From the Dec. 9-11, the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium hosted their final weekend of 2016 titled, “Science and the Christmas Star.” Each day of the weekend there were showings of the show titled: An Astronomer Looks for the Christmas Star.  The program was created in house by the Friends, and focuses on the phenomenon of the Christmas Star which according to biblical texts led the three Wise Men to the baby Jesus Christ in the manger.

Friday Dec. 9 was member appreciation night where all members were admitted for free.  There were standard showings of the program on Dec. 10 and 11.  Following each showing, Friends’ board of director, astronomer Jennifer Bartlett, Ph.D. portrayed Hypatia of Alexandria.  Her portrayal featured of a monologue where she argued for an alternative explanation for the Christmas Star.  Following Michael Molnar’s, The Star of Bethlehem, she argued that the “star” was a powerful horoscope including the lunar occultation of Jupiter in Ares at dawn on April 17, 6 BC.

“The mystery of the Christmas Star has been a mainstay of Planetariums for years during the Christmas Season,” said Friend of the Arlington Planetarium, co-creator and co-narrator of the program, Dr. Alice Monet.  The program itself discussed the potential explanations for the Christmas Star; a planetary conjunction, a comet, a supernova, or what is more believed in nonscientific circles, a Miracle.

The Friends will host special events at the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium one weekend every month until the end of the school year. Each weekend will be geared towards increasing STEM education/awareness for all ages and will feature a specific theme.  For more information, visit the Friends’ website.  The theme of January’s weekend will be: Citizen Science & Astronomy.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *