In a post a couple of days ago I mentioned that if the wise men were following the star to Bethlehem, they would be walking in circles. When asked about it by several people I explained that since the earth is not “fixed” — it rotates and is in orbit around the sun — stars are never in the same place in the sky, so “following” one would take you all over the place. Here’s a hilarious illustration of what would happen if the wisemen followed a celestial body to find Jesus. I have borrowed this (no permission required, only acknowledgment) from here:

Acknowledgement is here:


Three Wise Men

The story of the three wise men got me wondering: What if you did walk towards a star at a fixed speed? What path would you trace on the Earth? Does it converge to a fixed cycle?

—N. Murdoch

If the wise men leave Jerusalem and walk toward the star Sirius, day and night, even when it’s below the horizon, this is the path they follow over the surface:

If we allow a little theological confusion and assume the wise men can walk on water, they’ll eventually wind up going in an endless circle, 30 kilometers in diameter, around the South Pole.


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