In the Christian tradition, December 25 celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. But it's almost certainly not the exact date that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was born. Religious scholars have been debating this issue for centuries, trying to suss out the timetable from biblical passages and other historical records. If you ever run into a religious scholar at a party, go ahead and ask about this. And set aside several hours.
There's another way to come at the problem, though: According to the Bible, a bright star appeared in the sky on the night of Jesus' birth, leading the three wise men to Bethlehem. Using charts, math and some records from ancient Chinese and Korean astronomers, we can identify several celestial events that might match up. Comets, planets, even supernovae – Julian Huguet runs down the details in today's special Christmas edition of DNews.
TIME: What We Know About When Jesus Was Actually Born
Earth Sky: Was the Christmas Star real?
Space.com: Was the Star of Bethlehem a Star, Comet ... or Miracle?