Astronomer says Christ was born in June

Sydney, Australia - An Australian astronomer says the Christmas star that led the three Wise Men to Jesus appeared in June, not December.

Dave Reneke, former chief lecturer at the Port Macquarie Observatory in New South Wales who now is news editor of Sky and Space magazine, said complex computer software was used to map the night sky as it would have appeared over Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.The research pinpoints the date of Christ's birth as June 17 rather than Dec. 25, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

"Venus and Jupiter became very close in the the year 2 B.C. and they would have appeared to be one bright beacon of light," he said. "We are not saying this was definitely the Christmas star -- but it is the strongest explanation for it of any I have seen so far."