Comet

Comet

The star

The comet is undoubtedly one of the symbols that clearly represent a crib, a crib without a comet is a dull and unfinished crib because, precisely, it lacks its symbol, that object that identifies it and represents it in the world. in most cultures.


Origins

The story of the Gospel according to Matthew speaks of this astronomical phenomenon that announces the birth of Jesus. The attempts, also and above all scientific, to try to identify if indeed a celestial body (not necessarily a comet, but also, for example, a nova) has been visible on the sky of Jerusalem have been many but not much light has been made and in truth here we are not even interested too much in the various hypotheses that have been formulated, what we are most concerned about is that immediately the representations of the nativity, ergo consequently the cribs, began to have this star placed exactly above the small hut where Jesus was born. There are many examples, even very famous ones, take for example "The Adoration of the Magi" by Giotto, in this fresco, which can be admired in the Scrovegni Chapel, the Comet Star is clearly visible, which at the time was already recognized as a symbol of the nativity.


Where to place it?

Having said that, and given that much uncertainty remains about this star which, at least according to the Gospel of Matthew, crossed the sky on that fateful night, let's try to see how it can be used in our crib. First of all I will try to illustrate very briefly the confusion that reigns about the position of the comet, always without hurting anyone's susceptibility; in fact there is a certain uncertainty because the star was in fact according to the texts clearly visible in the sky and served to indicate the way to the incoming Magi, but the comet was positioned above the hut or indicated the way to the Magi preceding them on the road ? This point has never been well clarified, and both in painting and in the representations of the cribs are usually represented in both ways, there are in fact those who place the comet before Christmas night away from the central village and the hut with the Magi, there are those who instead place it directly above the hut and never post it, to indicate the place where the event will take place, instead there are those who leave it above the Magi, who as we know will arrive only after a few days in the presence of Jesus.


How to make it

To make the comet, and then place it above the hut or more distant under the Magi, there is really no limit to the imagination, as we said the comet is a bit the symbol of the crib and for this reason going to any shop you will find myriads of comet stars ready to use for your work, however it could also be a good idea to make it yourself, to make your homemade nativity scene much more original in this way. Let's see some small examples, you can make a plywood star using gilt paper to cover it and to make the trail of your star, but you can also, if you are a little more experienced, use a light tube for the trail and make it bright. To make it bright, thus creating a truly wonderful effect, you can also use white Christmas lights and then use your fantasy to apply them to the star. However, our advice is one, as you surely know to create the sky there are various shades of paper, therefore capable of creating a very dark sky or a lighter sky, well we advise you to buy the darkest sky paper possible, this because first of all as the event that the crib wants to commemorate took place in the middle of the night in December, and therefore the sky could only be very dark, and second then to illuminate the scene there will be the Christmas star! The darker the sky and the more your poinsettia will stand out in all its beauty, once again we recommend that you pay a lot of attention in creating it, there are many ways and you can also buy it already made, use your imagination to create a splendid star that will be the flagship of the whole nativity scene.


Comet: Conclusions

In short, the comet, symbol par excellence of the nativity scene, is always a unique and never banal piece, each nativity scene in fact understands it in its own way and if you have any of you readers have ever had the good fortune to attend an exhibition of amateur or artisan nativity scenes , he will discover that each artist has understood the comet in his own way and with a lot of imagination he has created and highlighted it in his work.


Poinsettia is a tropical plant that in its natural habitat can reach heights of 2 to 4 meters. Here it is grown as a houseplant and reaches a maximum of about fifty cm. It blooms during the short winter days and should be cared for in particular during spring and summer. The ideal condition is to place the Christmas star in one bright and fresh roomaway from heat sources and direct sunlight.

During the spring it should be kept in dim light, preferably outdoors. From October it can be brought home and kept mostly in the dark is for no more than 8 hours under natural light not direct, at a temperature including between 15 and 25 degrees. If you have no way to keep it in the dark for as long as necessary, you can cover it with a black canvas bag.


Index

  • 1 The ancient debate on the nature of the star
  • 2 Text of the Gospel
  • 3 Historicity
  • 4 Symbolic meaning
  • 5 Interpretation midrashica
  • 6 Interpretation of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • 7 Attempts at Astronomical Identification
    • 7.1 Spectacular astronomical events
      • 7.1.1 A comet
      • 7.1.2 A Nova
    • 7.2 The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction
      • 7.2.1 Some illustrative examples
    • 7.3 Other planetary conjunctions
  • 8 Curiosities
  • 9 Notes
    • 9.1 References
  • 10 Bibliography
  • 11 Related items
  • 12 Other projects
  • 13 External links

Already in ancient times the opinions of Christians were divided, also because the opinions of philosophers on the nature of celestial bodies were confused. According to the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria and before him Plato and the Stoics, the stars "are living creatures, but of an entirely spiritual kind" [3]. Even Aristotle made contradictory views on the subject. The identification of the stars with the angels is reflected in many biblical texts or in Jewish literature. Therefore, several church fathers, including John Chrysostom, saw no contradiction in the fact that a star, that is, an angel, came down to earth to guide the Magi to the stable of Jesus, according to the popular narrative and in analogy to the guidance given to Israel. during the Exodus (14.19 23.20 32.34 33.2).

A completely different line of thinking appears in Origen of Alexandria, who argued that it must be a natural and not a miraculous event. St. Jerome then fought the idea that the stars could be angels and finally in 553 the Council of Constantinople II strictly excluded that the planets or stars could have a soul.

Most of the ancient exegetes, therefore, interpreted the star as an inanimate, natural or portentous celestial phenomenon, but without identifying it with a comet. In fact, in ancient Christian iconography the star is never represented with its tail. The oldest example is a fresco from the Catacombs of Priscilla (3rd-4th century).

The common representation in the shape of a comet and the words "comet" go back to the fact that Giotto, impressed by the passage of Halley's Comet in 1301, drew it precisely as a long-tailed comet in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Starting from the 15th century, the detail has had an extraordinary artistic fortune, in particular in the representations of the Nativity and the crib.

The tail responds to the desire to represent a celestial object that indicates a direction, in accordance with the popular reading of the Gospel text.

Here is the text of Matthew, in which some terms of the original Greek text are also reported:

3 Upon hearing these words, King Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

5 They answered him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are not really the smallest capital of Judah: for from you a chief will come out who will feed my people, Israel.».

7 Then Herod, secretly called the Magi, asked them exactly the time when the star appeared 8 and sent them to Bethlehem urging them: "Go and find out carefully about the child and, when you have found him, let me know, so that I too come to adore him ».

9 When they heard the king's words, they left. And here is the star (ὁ ἀστὴρ, or aster), which they had seen in its rise (ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ, en tê anatolê), preceded them (προῆγεν αὐτούς, proêghen autoús), until (ἕως, eôs) came and stood above (ἐστάθη ἐπάνω, estáthe epáno) the place where the child was.

10 When they saw the star, they felt great joy. 11 When they entered the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then they opened their caskets and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

12 Then warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

[. ] 16 Herod, realizing that the Magi had made fun of him, was furious and sent to kill all the children of Bethlehem and its territory from two years down, corresponding to the time on which he had been informed by the Magi. » (Matthew 2,1-12.16)

As can be seen, the biblical account does not exactly correspond to the common popular Christian tradition and instead contains useful details that need to be emphasized:

  • The text does not specify how long after Jesus' birth the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, nor that Jesus and his family were still in the makeshift shelter (the "stable") where the birth took place. Neither the liturgical tradition, which leaves only twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany, nor the traditional iconography of the event have a biblical basis.
  • It is not said that the Magi were kings, nor what their number and name were (see the entry Magi for the later origin of these traditions)
  • The term "magi" indicates belonging to a priestly caste of Zoroastrian astrologers, whose most important center was Babylon. The words ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ, en tê anatolê, (lit. "at its rise") can also be translated "in the East", reinforcing the indication of the origin of the Magi (to the east of Jerusalem there was Babylon and further on Persia)
  • Alternatively, translating ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ as "in the east" could indicate that the star was shining in the east. Really all the stars move (apparent motion) from east to west, see diurnal motion, while the revolution motion (with respect to the so-called fixed stars) is usually from west to east, see direct motodo and eg. the image in Comet # Orbital characteristics) ->
  • Matthew, however, uses the term ἀστὴρ, aster, more suitable for a star than a comet
  • The text does not say at all that the Magi arrived in Jerusalem following the star, but only that the sight of the star led them to seek news at the court of Herod about the birth of a king of the Jews.
  • Only thanks to the Magi was Herod informed of the birth of Jesus. This could indicate that the interpretation of (or of) eventual astrological events was not obvious for Hellenistic astrologers, while it was clearer for Chaldean ones.
  • The Magi "felt a great joy" because the position of the star corresponded precisely to the direction of Bethlehem, not because it had reappeared after a temporary concealment. The text does not state, but does not exclude, that the star remained continuously visible throughout the journey (as necessary if it were a comet or a nova)
  • The star shone south of Jerusalem (this, in fact, is the direction of Bethlehem)
  • The indication that the star was over the place where Jesus was can have many meanings. In contemporary texts the indication ἐστάθη ἐπάνω, estáthe epáno, is used for comets whose tail is directed upwards [Note 1]. Finally, according to Mario Codebò, the Greek text is ambiguous and could be translated in a completely different way from the usual one (inaugurated in the Latin translation of San Gerolamo). For example, the Gospel of Matthew could simply say that the dawn arose just when the Magi arrived in Bethlehem (the star, therefore, did not stop but disappeared due to too much light) [Note 2]
  • The killing of all children under the age of two indicates that the event or sequence of significant events may have started even two years earlier, or perhaps less if it is assumed that Herod anticipated the possible birth date of Jesus by greater security. [without source] The massacre of the innocents is, however, considered by many scholars, including Christians, not to be a historically event [4].

The apparition of the star and the concomitant presence of the Magi described by Matthew are considered non-historical by many scholars - including Christian exegetes, such as Raymond Brown, John Dominic Crossan, Rudolf Bultmann - who argue that the narrative of the birth of Jesus was modeled on traditions inspired by the Old Testament and the birth of Moses, in turn derived from previous traditions of other peoples. [5] [6] [7] The theologian Raymond Brown, in addition to emphasizing the derivation of the star and the magi from the tale of Balaam (Nu22-24), believes that "really no one, including astronomers, takes Matthew's account as a literal story. Matthew says that the Magi saw the star (not planets, not a comet) of the King of the Jews at its rising (or in the East), and that he went before them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and stopped where the child. In recent literature I have not found an astronomical explanation that fully fits this "the theologian himself believes, however, possible that some earlier celestial phenomenon - such as, for example, the appearance of Halley's comet in 12 BC - may have remained in the collective memory and adapted by Matthew to the nativity of Jesus. [8] Raymond Brown also notes how in the story "many features are disconcerting. If Herod and all Jerusalem knew of the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem [the Magi and the star ] (Mt2: 3), and in fact Herod massacred the children of an entire city in the course of the search for Jesus (2:16), because later in his ministry no one seems to know the wonderful origins of Jesus (13: 54-55 ), and the son of Herod remembers nothing of him (14: 1-2)? " [9] and, furthermore, the scholar notes that "Herod's inability to find the child in Bethlehem would be perfectly understandable in a story in which there were no wise men from the East and where he had only a general knowledge of the Scriptures on Bethlehem to guide him. It becomes ridiculous when the way to the house was marked by a star that stopped on it, and when the path to the door of the house in a small village was highlighted by the presence of exotic strangers [the Magi ] ". [10]
Accordingly, the theologian Rudolf Bultmann notes the existence of preceding parallels, biblical and extra-biblical, for the account of the adoration of the Magi and the "motif of the star which announced the birth of the hero, and the motif of the star which indicated the way to the birth of a king ". [11]
Regarding the historicity of the Star-Magi narrative, even the biblical scholar Mauro Pesce observes that "everything suggests that the story of the Magi is only a literary-propaganda artifice. Matthew wrote around the year 80, when the new religion was spreading outside from Palestine. Probably his Gospel wanted to send a message to non-Jews, saying that Jesus had revealed himself also and above all to them: in fact for the Jews the Magi were "Gentiles", that is pagans and yet, according to Matthew, they knew of the arrival of the Messiah before the clergy of Jerusalem ". Concordantly Francesco Sforza Barcellona, ​​professor of History of Christianity at the University of Rome-Tor Vergata, underlines that "in the Gospel story there are messages in code also for the Jews. The effort to make the figure of Jesus square with biblical prophecies is evident. For example, in Psalm 71 (now 72) it was predicted that the Messiah would be given "gold of Arabia" and that "the kings of the Arabs and of Sheba" (read Yemen) would "pay tribute" to him. adoration of the Magi, who with their gold "legitimize" Jesus on the basis of biblical parameters ". [12]

The presence of a star at the birth of Jesus is a messianic symbol. The biblical reference is Balaam's prophecy about a star, which would appear from Jacob Num 24.17. Although the star has often been identified with King David, even before the birth of Christ some Jews had identified it with the Messiah [Note 3]. In the second century Origen and Irenaeus of Lyons recalled this prophecy precisely in relation to the Star of Bethlehem [13]. The messianic identification is even clearer in the version of the LXX (the one normally used by the evangelists), in which the "scepter", which rises in Israel, is translated into Greek as "man" [14].
The prophecy "A star rises from Jacob and a scepter rises from Israel, breaking the temples of Moab and the skulls of the sons of Set"(Nu24,17) - as evidenced by various scholars, including the theologian Raymond Brown - in fact prefigures the appearance of an exceptional star for the triumph of Israel, and its Messiah, over the enemies and, moreover, also" the direct inspiration for the story of the Magi comes from the tale of Balaam "- also contained in the book of Numbers, chapters 22 to 24 [15] - referring to the soothsayer Balaam and Balak, king of Moab, who will receive a revelation from Balaam who will frustrate his plans, creating similarities with Herod and the Magi. [12] [16]
In accordance with Balaam's prophecy, the theme of "light" appears in many other prophecies traditionally applied to the Messiah, including the one to which this passage is most closely connected Is 60,1-6.
The "nationalistic" character of Baalam's prophecy may be the reason why the star does not appear in the Gospel of Luke, directed at the "Gentiles" and Hellenized Jews.

Some modern biblical scholars still follow the theses of John Chrysostom outlined above, integrating them with the historical-critical method of reading biblical texts: the star of Bethlehem, therefore, could be a narrative invention belonging to the Hebrew literary genre of the midrash [17]. The narrator simply wanted to indirectly state that Jesus was the Messiah announced by the Old Testament and would have used for this purpose the same symbolic elements used by the prophets, probably without having either the awareness or the intention to introduce supernatural elements, which centuries later (but not in his day, as discussed above) many readers would have considered far-fetched.

According to Jehovah's Witnesses, this star was "an evil stratagem of Satan, which is capable of producing such phenomena" [18] [19], for the following reasons:

  • Magi, in Greek màgoi, means astrologers or sorcerers, professions that according to the Bible are "detestable to Jehovah", "in abomination to the Lord" according to the CEI translation. (De 18: 10-12)
  • In the scriptures, God used his angels to communicate in direct or dream apparitions (Lu 2: 8-11). In fact, in this way the magi were then warned not to return to Herod. (Mt 2:12)
  • The star did not lead men directly to Bethlehem but to Jerusalem, where King Herod (enemy of the Messiah) learned that they were looking for Jesus.
  • This severely endangered the life of the future Messiah and caused many children under the age of two to be put to death.

The astronomical clues used to explain the narration of the Gospel of Matthew are of two types: exceptional astronomical events of great visible effect such as the passage of a comet or the formation of a supernova or planetary conjunctions of special astrological significance.

The latter would better explain how the Magi were able to understand that they had to go to Jerusalem, given that the orientation of each star or astronomical event with respect to the cardinal points changes continuously due to the earth's rotation only the polar star remains fixed. A natural astronomical event, therefore, could not indicate the direction from Babylon to Jerusalem and in fact only for the very short stretch between Jerusalem and Bethlehem (8 km) Matthew says that the star "preceded" the Magi, indicating that it was in a southerly direction in the hour of approximate duration of the last leg of the journey

The two types of events could also be combined with each other, assigning a planetary conjunction the "informational" role and a supernova or comet the "directional" role. This hypothesis was first proposed by Kepler [20] and subsequently adopted by several authors, including recent ones [Note 4].

Since Herod's death is mostly dated to 4 BC, most scholars have looked at the period 8-4 BC. some works, however, have found interesting astronomical events also in the subsequent period 3-1 a. C., the two-year period immediately preceding the traditional date of Jesus' birth.

Spectacular astronomical events Edit

The hypothesis of an exceptional event is in agreement with the description given by the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal writing of the second century, according to which the Star was "so bright that the other stars disappear". The source, however, is not sufficiently reliable to consider this detail binding [20]. Moreover, an exceptional event would have been noticed by all and Herod would not have needed to ask the Magi for the precise date of the start of the event. The exceptional event, if it really did take place, must have been preceded by other astronomical events, the significance of which was understandable only by astrologers.

A comet Edit

The hypothesis that the star of Bethlehem was a comet, or something similar, goes back to Origen, which is not based on previous traditions, but supposes that it was a new "star", that is, an exceptional event, probably at the aim not to deviate from the rejection of astrological practice, customary among Christians [21]. Origen cites the lost treatise "On comets", written by Nero's tutor, Cheremone, according to which it was accepted practice that the appearance of comets or new stars signaled the birth of important characters and it was therefore plausible that the Magi had put themselves in journey to its appearance.

It has been proposed that the Star was Halley's comet, which was visible in 12 BC. [Note 5], but this date is not compatible with the current opinion of most historians, who date the birth of Jesus between 7 and 4 BC. The passage of other comets in the period of interest is not known, except perhaps an event of 5 BC, described by Chinese astronomers as a comet, but today often reinterpreted as a supernova. The identification of the Star with this comet is supported, for example, by Colin Humphreys [22], who uses it to date the birth of Christ around Easter in 5 BC.

As mentioned above, the identification of the "star" with a comet only became common opinion in the 15th century, a century after Giotto's work.

A Nova Edit

Some studies, however, have found traces of a supernova explosion:

  • In 1977 a group of British researchers (Clark, Parkinson and Stephenson [23]) found that the Chinese astronomical annals record in March 5 BC. the appearance of a bright object, probably a nova, which remained visible for about 70 days between the constellations of Aquila and Capricorn [Note 6]. It is almost certainly an object also detected by Korean astronomers, even if their recordings contain inaccuracies, probably due to transcription errors [24] [25]. If the Magi set out from Mesopotamia when he appeared, they could reach Judea in April / May: in that period, at dawn it was visible from Jerusalem towards the south, that is towards Bethlehem, in perfect correspondence with the Gospel account.
  • A recent hypothesis suggests that the star of Bethlehem was a supernova or a hypernova, traces of which have been discovered near the Andromeda galaxy. The dating of this event is not currently possible, but it could become so with the advancement of technology. Frank Tipler, however, observes that a supernova in Andromeda would literally explain a mysterious aspect of the Gospel of Matthew: the stopping of the star just above Bethlehem [26]. The "stop" would indicate reaching the zenith, the instant in which the star ceases to provide a directional indication.

The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction Edit

Some scholars have suggested that the star of Bethlehem was not a star or a comet, but a flare due to the planet Jupiter in conjunction with other less bright planets. Giovanni Kepler (De anno natali Christi, 1614) first reported that in 7 B.C. there was a triple conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn and Mars in the constellation of Pisces [2]. The phenomenon had also attracted the attention of Chaldean astronomers, who had foreseen it since the previous year [Note 7]. The tablet with the prediction of the phenomenon, dated 8 a. C., was found in four copies in different sites (a very rare fact) which indicates the interest of ancient astrologers for the phenomenon.
However, the astral events of 7-6 BC remain the most interesting by the majority of scholars, especially the triple conjunction (that is, that it occurred three times in a short period of time, of a few months) between Jupiter and Saturn, probably occurred in the constellation of Pisces between 7 and 6 BC.
A Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the same constellation, excluding the precession of the equinoxes, would occur, according to Kepler, with a cycle of about 800 solar years.
Generally, the planets Jupiter and Saturn, very bright in the sky, always align with the Sun every 19 years and 314 days and, normally, these conjunctions are very short, that is, visible only for a few hours at sunrise or sunset, or even invisible, when, for example, our planet is in opposition. However, starting from the fact that the period of Earth's revolution is much shorter than that of the other two planets, the Earth is able to qualitatively align itself with the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn before they significantly separate. It follows that the geocentric alignment of the two planets has the same average period as their heliocentric alignment, but in a more irregular way (i.e. anticipating or postponing by a few months), precisely due to the motion of the earth's revolution. When the Earth is exactly aligned both with the two planets and on the day in which they are aligned with the Sun, it is said that the conjunction occurs by heliocentric alignment in this case, two other conjunctions occur, about a hundred days before and about a hundred days after that day, and these caused instead by a single geocentric alignment (ie that occurs only with the planet Earth). These types of conjunctions are called multiple or even triple, because they occur three times in a short period of time (6-7 months). They are an effect due to the greater angular velocity of the Earth, which determines an apparent retrograde motion of both Jupiter and Saturn, in the period between the first and third conjunction. The effect is more visible with the planet closest to us, and that is Jupiter its apparent retrograde motion is faster, and brings it back, in a short time, to intersect again the trajectory of Saturn. Then when the retrograde motion is exhausted, and the apparent motion is accelerated in the normal direction, the last conjunction finally takes place.

In some cases, a similar effect can occur even without waiting 800 years if on the day of the heliocentric alignment the Earth, although not perfectly aligned with Jupiter and Saturn, were, however, in an angular sector of about 30 °, would occur some multiple conjunctions, even if no longer equidistant in months. The central conjunction of the period of the phenomenon could overlap one of the extreme ones, so that a triple conjunction could be reduced to a pseudo-double.
This last type of multiple conjunctions would occur, on average, every 120 years. In fact, the arc between -30 ° and + 30 ° is 1/6 of the 360 ​​° rotation angle, so there is a multiple conjunction every six. The phenomenon, however, is very irregular: there may be multiple consecutive events, and others even centuries apart. According to De Cesaris, those in which the Earth is also very close to the heliocentric alignment, occur, on average, every 500 years. The frequency is further reduced if additional conditions are required, such as occurring within a specific house of the Zodiac [27].
In any case, the effect, seen from the earth's soil, would result in two very bright and very close stars, almost seeming to be one, for a satisfactory period of time of a few weeks or months.
Astronomers, over the centuries, determined the existence of one of these triple conjunctions precisely between 6 and 7 BC, or even only along the year 7 BC. For example, according to Kepler, this triple conjunction would have taken place on the Gregorian dates of 29 May, 29 September and 5 December, precisely in the year 7 BC, but the calculations of other authors shift these dates by a few days, either before or after [ Note 8]. The quasi-heliocentric conjunction of September 29 occurred near the full moon, and shortly after the autumn equinox.
Giove e Saturno entrarono nella costellazione dei Pesci, in corrispondenza all'equinozio di primavera, visibili a oriente subito dopo il tramonto, e vi rimasero per circa un anno, avvicinandosi tra loro per ben tre volte. Prima di uscirne furono raggiunti anche da Marte. Perciò nel febbraio del 6 a.C. vi furono simultaneamente le congiunzioni di Giove con la Luna e di Marte con Saturno, entrambe nella costellazione Pesci. Poco dopo Giove entrò nella costellazione dell'Ariete, dove secondo l'astronomo Michael Molnar ebbe due congiunzioni con la luna, così prossime da essere occultato (evento calcolabile con i computer odierni, ma non prevedibile nell'antichità). Secondo Molnar furono particolarmente significativi l'occultamento del 17 aprile e la stazionarietà di Giove il 19 dicembre del 6 a.C. [28] .

Negli anni 7-6 a.C. vi fu comunque una sequenza di eventi astrali durata circa diciotto mesi, variamente interpretata dagli studiosi utilizzando testi astrologici ebraici, ellenistici e babilonesi. La sequenza era centrata sul pianeta Giove, il più luminoso dopo Venere e quello che nella mitologia antica era il Dio creatore degli uomini (Marduk per i Babilonesi, Zeus per i Greci).

Ma come mai una di queste congiunzioni planetarie potrebbe aver spinto i Magi alla corte di Erode? Occorre evidentemente che l'evento fosse considerato eccezionale, e che avesse un particolare significato astrologico. Già nell'VIII secolo d.C. l'astrologo persiano Masha'allah ibn Athari, utilizzando dati e teorie astrologiche di origine iranica e babilonese, sostenne che ogni importante cambiamento religioso o politico, fra cui le nascite di Cristo e di Maometto, era collegato alla congiunzione fra Giove e Saturno [29] . Un'interpretazione più dettagliata, basata su notizie fornite da Isaac Abrabanel, uno scrittore medievale ebreo, è pubblicata da Rosenberg [30] . Il pianeta Saturno sarebbe il Padre divino, Giove il figlio e la costellazione dei Pesci sarebbe collegata con il popolo di Israele. Anche secondo l'assiriologo Simo Parpola l'evento del 7 a.C. sarebbe risultato di grande importanza per gli astrologhi caldei e avrebbe annunciato "la fine del vecchio ordine del mondo e la nascita di un nuovo re mandato da Dio" [Nota 9] . Infine Ettore Bianchi, Mario Codebò e Giuseppe Veneziano hanno sottolineato che proprio all'epoca della nascita di Cristo vi fu il trapasso dall'Era dell'Ariete all'Era dei Pesci, per cui durante gli equinozi il Sole sarebbe entrato nelle costellazioni dei Pesci e della Vergine e sarebbe dovuta ritornare l'Età dell'oro. Qualunque evento astrale nella costellazione dei Pesci avrebbe avuto una risonanza fortissima fra gli astrologi di qualsiasi cultura, come testimonia anche l'ecloga IV di Virgilio, in cui si canta l'avvento dei Saturnia Regna [31] . Secondo l'astrologia iranica e indiana l'età dell'oro torna ogni dodicimila anni.

Alcuni esempi illustrativi Modifica

I dati astronomici sopra illustrati sono numerosi e le incertezze sulla datazione della nascita di Gesù così ampie, che non c'è difficoltà a trovare molteplici possibilità d'accordo. Le possibilità sono accresciute anche dalla molteplicità degli eventi biblici: il primo segnale astrologico potrebbe corrispondere non alla nascita, ma al concepimento di Gesù o addirittura a quello dell'annuncio a San Zaccaria, che diede l'avvio alla sequenza di eventi. La significatività di ogni coincidenza è quindi limitata.

A titolo illustrativo, riassumiamo alcune possibilità:

  • David Hughes e più recentemente Simo Parpola collocano tutti gli eventi nell'autunno del 7 a.C. la nascita di Gesù sarebbe avvenuta in corrispondenza alla congiunzione equinoziale (6 ottobre), mentre l'arrivo dei Magi sarebbe da collocarsi in corrispondenza all'ultima congiunzione nei primi giorni di dicembre. Il pregio di questa proposta è che essi avrebbero osservato a Gerusalemme proprio un nuovo verificarsi dell'evento che avevano osservato in patria in accordo con Mt 2,10. Dato che la prima congiunzione si era verificata solo sei mesi prima, resta incerto il motivo per cui Erode avrebbe fatto uccidere tutti i bambini di Betlemme con meno di due anni
  • Michael Molnar enfatizza solo gli eventi del 6 a.C. e il ruolo di Giove, collocando la visita dei Magi nel dicembre di quell'anno
  • Per diversi autori, fra cui più recentemente Colin Humphreys, gli eventi del 7 e del 6 a.C. avrebbero avuto solo un ruolo di "allerta astrologica", mentre la nascita di Cristo avrebbe avuto luogo solo in coincidenza con (o poco dopo) la cometa/supernova del marzo 5 a.C. Dato che la "cometa" fu osservata dagli astronomi cinesi per 70 giorni, i Magi ebbero tutto il tempo per osservare la sua prima comparsa, decidere di mettersi in viaggio ed arrivare a Gerusalemme entro i due mesi successivi. Questa soluzione spiega il comportamento di Erode, al prezzo di introdurre due eventi, mentre il vangelo parlerebbe solo del secondo [Nota 10] .
  • Proviamo, infine, a collocare la Natività il 25 dicembre del 6 a. C., una data il cui anno raccoglie grande consenso fra gli storici e il cui giorno accontenta anche i credenti tradizionalisti. Alcuni dei dati astronomici sopra discussi si collocano nella narrazione biblica come segue:
    • settembre-ottobre 7 a.C.: Annuncio dell'angelo a San Zaccaria e concepimento del Battista avvio della catena di eventi che conduce alla nascita di Gesù (circa 180 giorni prima del concepimento di Gesù secondo Luca)
      • congiunzione di Giove e Saturno nella costellazione dei Pesci (la congiunzione astrologicamente più importante perché anche il sole era allineato con la terra e i pianeti, pur trovandosi nella costellazione della Vergine).
    • marzo-aprile del 6 a.C.: Annunciazione a Maria e concepimento di Gesù (circa 266 prima del Natale)
      • Nel febbraio Marte raggiunge Giove e Saturno nella Costellazione dei Pesci, congiunzioni di Marte con Saturno e di Giove con la Luna e successivo occultamento di Giove da parte della Luna nella costellazione dell'Ariete (17 aprile).
    • 2 febbraio del 5 a.C.: Presentazione al Tempio, durante la quale Simeone il Vecchio pronuncia il Nunc dimittis (40 dopo Natale per obbedire la legge mosaica), seguita in data imprecisata dalla visita dei Magi
      • L'esplosione di una supernova (o la comparsa di una cometa) in marzo annuncia ai Magi la realizzazione della profezia significata dalla misteriosa triplice congiunzione di due anni prima, spingendoli a partire per Gerusalemme la profezia di Michea e la luce della stella li guidano a Betlemme. Erode uccide tutti i nati dall'avvio della triplice congiunzione (maggio 7 a.C.).

Altre congiunzioni planetarie Modifica

Altre sette congiunzioni, molto significative dal punto di vista astrologico, ebbero luogo negli anni 3-2 a.C (cioè nei due anni antecedenti la presunta data di nascita di Gesù secondo la tradizione cristiana connessa con la storia). Tre di esse implicarono sempre Giove, con la stella Regolo della costellazione del Leone, anch'essa un simbolo regale. Altre, verificatesi sempre nei pressi di Regolo, implicarono Venere e altri pianeti, fra cui Marte e Mercurio [32] .

Particolarmente interessante è la congiunzione di Giove con Venere verificatasi il 17 giugno del 2 a.C. Essa si verificò nella costellazione del Leone (simbolo della tribù di Giuda seconda la Genesi Gen 49,9) e precisamente nei pressi di Regolo (nome che significa "piccolo re"). Se essa viene interpretata come un'indicazione celeste del concepimento di Gesù, la sua nascita cadrebbe circa alla Pasqua del successivo anno 1 a.C. (6 aprile). Una nascita in occasione di questa festa, quando tutti i giudei dovevano recarsi a Gerusalemme, spiegherebbe come mai non si trovò posto per Giuseppe e Maria a Betlemme (Luca 2,7) e si accorderebbe con il pernottamento all'addiaccio dei pastori meglio di una nascita in dicembre.

Tra le varie rappresentazione del periodo natalizio, una delle più curiose è la Stella di Miranda a Terni che risulta essere la rappresentazione della stella cometa più grande al mondo con i suoi 105 metri di diametro esterno della stella, 305 metri di lunghezza della coda per una superficie complessiva di 30000 metri quadri


Come vedere la вЂ˜Grande congiunzione’

Visti dalla terra Giove e Saturno si avvicineranno a meno di un decimo di grado di distanza. Ma in che direzione dobbiamo guardare? Occhi puntati verso sud-ovest, lungo la linea dell’orizzonte. L’orario migliore va dalle 17 alle 19, per essere precisi binocoli pronti per le 17 e 45. Secondo i consigli stilati dalla Nasa, l’allineamento dei due pianeti ГЁ facilmente visibile anche senza particolari attrezzature.В


Stella Cometa

Responsabile d'Area: Dario Quesada
Coordinatore progettuale: Mauro Mottura
Responsabile del servizio: Silvana Bova

Enti Invianti: possono essere ASL, Comuni, Consorzi di Comuni.

Clienti: Attualmente 12 persone adulte di entrambi i sessi (di età compresa tra i 30 e i 65 anni), con grave pluridisabilità fisica e/o intellettivo-cognitiva.

Caratteristiche principali
La Comunità Alloggio Stella Cometa è destinata a persone adulte con pluridisabilità ed eventuali compromissioni fisiche e/o comportamentali.
“Stella Cometa” è situata all’interno di un condominio proprietà ATC, ed è situata al primo piano, accessibile con ascensore e con finestre su tre lati.
Gli spazi interni sono composti da: cucina, sala pranzo, soggiorno, stanza “delle attività”, ufficio, cinque camere da letto doppie, due camere singole, sei bagni più un settimo con vasca assistita dedicati agli ospiti, una lavanderia, numerosi ripostigli ed un magazzino.
Ogni camera è arredata con materiali ignifughi, a norma di legge (tendaggi, tessuti e mobili in legno). I letti, attrezzati, sono muniti di telecomando per la movimentazione elettrica.


Articolo tratto dal numero di gennaio/febbraio 2020 di Asset Management.

Cometa è il fondo pensione complementare per i lavoratori dell’industria metalmeccanica, dell’installazione di impianti e dei settori affini, e per i lavoratori dipendenti del settore orafo e argentiero. È il più importante in Italia, con 408mila aderenti e un patrimonio totale di 11 miliardi di euro (al 31/12/2018). Si tratta di un fondo pensione negoziale, costituito cioè sulla base di un accordo collettivo fra le rappresentanze nazionali delle imprese e dei lavoratori all’interno del settore metalmeccanico. È ad adesione libera e volontaria. Il presidente è Oreste Gallo, ex BlackRock, che vanta una lunga esperienza nel settore finanziario e previdenziale e una carriera internazionale in ruoli di elevata responsabilità.

Perché è importante e in che cosa consiste esattamente la pensione complementare?
Oreste Gallo : Con un piano di previdenza complementare si ha l’opportunità di incrementare il livello della pensione futura. A causa di fattori quali i cambiamenti demografici, con il progressivo allungamento della vita media e il numero sempre più crescente dei pensionati rispetto alle persone che lavorano, il sistema pensionistico di base è in evoluzione e sempre meno in grado di fornire una risposta efficace ai bisogni previdenziali. Costruendo la propria pensione complementare si ha dunque la possibilità di integrare la pensione di base e mantenere un tenore di vita analogo a quello goduto durante l’età lavorativa.

Quali sono i vantaggi per i sottoscrittori?
Oreste Gallo : L’adesione a Cometa offre l’opportunità concreta di costruire un capitale per il proprio futuro. La prestazione sarà tanto più alta quanto maggiori sono la continuità dei versamenti e l’orizzonte temporale della contribuzione. Storicamente, un lavoratore iscritto al Fondo in un orizzonte di 12 o 20 anni, quindi dalle origini del fondo o dal 2007, anno dell’entrata in vigore del Dlgs 252/05 di riforma della previdenza complementare, può disporre di un rendimento consistente e superiore alla rivalutazione del Tfr. Inoltre, Cometa gode di una disciplina fiscale di particolare favore sui contributi versati, sui rendimenti conseguiti e sulle prestazioni percepite. I costi, poi, sono più competitivi rispetto a quelli di altre forme previdenziali, perché Cometa è un’associazione senza scopo di lucro e quindi i costi applicati sono solo quelli strettamente necessari. Versando poi, oltre al Tfr, anche una quota individuale, si ha diritto a un contributo aggiuntivo del datore di lavoro, che andrà a rafforzare la posizione in Cometa. L’adesione segue anche un criterio di flessibilità: è infatti possibile variare nel tempo la misura della contribuzione a seconda delle disponibilità ed esigenze, e in caso di bisogno, anche prima del pensionamento, si possono richiedere anticipazioni sulla posizione per poter affrontare imprevisti e necessità, come spese mediche o per la ristrutturazione della casa. Si ha infine la possibilità di far aderire anche familiari fiscalmente a carico, come i figli, scegliendo liberamente la misura e le cadenze della contribuzione.

Come funziona e come si attiva la rendita del Fondo?
Oreste Gallo : Dal momento del primo versamento inizia a formarsi la posizione individuale dell’aderente. Durante la fase di accumulo, la posizione individuale rappresenta la somma accumulata tempo per tempo. Al momento del pensionamento, la posizione individuale costituirà la base per il calcolo della pensione complementare, che verrà erogata all’aderente nella fase di erogazione, cioè per tutto il resto della sua vita. È possibile percepire la prestazione in forma di rendita, dal momento del pensionamento e per tutta la durata della vita dell’aderente, o in forma di capitale, cioè di una somma immediata e di una rendita erogata nel tempo.

Qual è l’approccio di investimento adottato dal Fondo Pensione Cometa?
Oreste Gallo : Cometa dispone di quattro comparti di investimento che offrono agli aderenti piani di previdenza complementare adeguati ai loro profili ed esigenze e alla nuova complessità dei mercati. Reddito è il comparto di ingresso, che ha l’obiettivo di offrire un rendimento previdenziale in linea col Tfr, con un rischio contenuto. Crescita è il comparto più dinamico, pensato per lavoratori più giovani che, in virtù del loro profilo di rischio/rendimento e di un lungo periodo di permanenza nel comparto, intendono ottenere un’elevata prestazione pensionistica complementare. Monetario Plus è invece il comparto di uscita, per gli aderenti prossimi al pensionamento e l’investimento è finalizzato alla conservazione del capitale. Sicurezza 2015 è infine il comparto garantito, previsto, come da legge, per accogliere il Tfr degli iscritti in via tacita. Come investitore di lungo periodo Cometa dedica grande attenzione alle considerazioni di ordine sociale, ambientale e di governance (Esg).

Uno sguardo al domani di Cometa?
Oreste Gallo : Cometa ha individuato tre grandi temi sui quali lavorare per il prossimo periodo. Innanzitutto, gli investimenti nell’economia reale: qui è importante costruire fin dalle basi un progetto condiviso tra i player della finanza e del welfare. Questi asset possono rappresentare una forma di diversificazione del portafoglio che può offrire rendimenti interessanti, a condizione che siano rispettati i requisiti dell’investimento previdenziale. Secondo: l’importanza di incrementare le adesioni, in modo da estendere le tutele a una fetta sempre maggiore di lavoratori. Il tema riguarda in particolare, e questo è il terzo punto, come intercettare le giovani generazioni, dove la quota di iscritti alla previdenza complementare è minore. È a questo riguardo importante adottare un approccio aperto al digitale e all’innovazione tecnologica per intercettarne le esigenze e parlare linguaggi più vicini a loro.

Articolo a cura di Leopoldo Fiore

Autore Redazione Le Fonti 17 February 2020

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