According to the Bible, when Jesus was born three Magi saw a star in the East that signaled the birth of a new king. But just what was it, from an astronomical point or view, that the Magi actually saw? Astronomer Fred Grosse says there are several popular theories that may answer this question. According to him, “Astronomical objects or events which would be of interest to serious stargazers of the time include comets and meteors, nova or supernova, and auroras.” But the favorite candidate for the star of Bethlehem is a planetary conjunction.
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Some scientists think that our ability to study the universe with space craft and telescopes might actually be destroying it. It’s all part of quantum physics. It’s also surfer wisdom.

In the November 21st edition of the Telegraph, Roger Highfield explains that our ability to measure the universe may actually shorten its life, because our observations could trigger another “big bang,” which would be the end of our world and the start of another one.

In the November 13th issue of the Telegraph, Highfield writes about “an impoverished surfer [who] has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists.”
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Before the evolution of photosynthesis, which produces chlorophyll, the first life on earth might have been purple, rather than the green that dominates today. The world is so very green because chlorophyll in plants absorbs red and blue wavelengths and reflects green ones. Before this, red and blue, which combine to form purple, may have predominated. This is especially important when we search for distant planets that may still be in that earlier stage of evolution.

In LiveScience.com, Ker Than quotes reseacher Neil Reid as saying, “We should make sure we don’t lock into ideas that are entirely centered on what we see on Earth.”
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A mysterious hexagon-shaped image can be seen in space, floating above the storms that swirl around the north pole on Saturn. Astronomers want to know what it is.

In New Scientist, Maggie Mckee reports that astronomers have long known about the “hurricane-like vortex” that “swirls on Saturn’s south pole.” Mckee reports that, “A deep, hexagon-shaped feature lies above Saturn’s north pole.” This has been seen by Voyager 1 and 2, and new images have recently come from the Cassini spacecraft. According to McKee, “The strange structure appears to be nearly stationary.” Hear Linda Howe’s report on this amazing story on this week’s Dreamland!

Art credit: NASA
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