One of the popular theories about the Star of Bethlehem is that it was a occultation. From the book The Essence of Perfection:
An astronomical occultation is when one larger astrological object moves in the front of, or occults, another. Astronomer Michael R. Molnar, who is retired from the Physics and Astronomy Department at Rutgers University, has made a detailed case for his theory that the Star of Bethlehem, may have been a pair of astrologically significant lunar occultations. An occultation occurs when the Moon passes in front of another body, making it disappear from the sky. He writes of the Moon’s occultations of Jupiter in Aries on March 20 and April 17, 6 BCE, in his book, The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi. According to Molnar, the occultations signaled to the Magi that a “King of the Jews” was about to be born in Palestine. Hence, they soon embarked on one of the epic treks of the New Testament, with gifts in hand for the new king.
On Friday I will examine Molnar's theory further.
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.