In the spring of 5 B.C., Chinese skywatchers recorded a nova along the meridian of the bright star Altair. Another group of skywatchers saw the nova rising in the East and followed it to Bethlehem, where it stood directly overhead. Thus the wise men used the Star of Bethlehem to find the Christ Child.
Finding the Star of Bethlehem has been an age-old mystery. Yet with the clues provided by the story of the wise men and the Chinese skywatchers, we can find an area of the sky which matches the evidence we have. Following the Chinese longitude by moving north up the meridian of the star Altair by about 25 degrees we reach the wise men's latitude point which would have been directly over Bethlehem in 5 B.C. Here we find a black hole known as X-1 Cygnus, and, since a black hole is the remains of a large Nova, X-1 Cygnus would be the remnant of the nova we know as the star of Bethlehem.
The black hole X-1 Cygnus, the star of Bethlehem, is located in a prominent star grouping named the Summer Triangle. Its three bright stars, Deneb (the Lord comes), Altair (the wounding) and Vega (He shall be exalted) echo the message from Genesis 3:15 of a "seed of woman" who would be "bruised in the heel" and "crush the head of the Serpent."
X-1 Cygnus is located in the constellation Cygnus (the swan) which is also known as the Northern Cross. Interestingly, the black hole is located on the Northern Cross in a position corresponding to the spot where the "bruised" heel would have been nailed to the cross.
You can find more information about the star of Bethlehem in our book The Stars of His Coming, which is available on our website, starbiblesociety.com, or view our YouTube presentation The Story of the Star of Bethlehem at "International Star Bible Society."
To find the Star of Bethlehem's location this December, look in the Western sky just after sunset. The Northern Cross appears to be standing upright, and the three stars of the Summer Triangle are also viable. The location of X-1 Cygnus, the Star of Bethlehem, is about half way between the cross bar and the foot of the cross.
So this year for Christmas, when you are telling the story of the wise men, you can go outside just after dark and point to the remains of the star of Bethlehem they followed.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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