NGC 1514       Planetary Nebula      PK 165-15.1

Location:    Tarus

Distance:    ~1,500 light years

Magnitude: 10

Size:  1.9 x 1.9 arcminutes  or ~1 ly

Equatorial coordinates:  4h 09’ 17”  +300 46’ 33”

Galactic coordinates:  -15.30, 165.50


This is a small planetary nebula.  The magnitude 9.5 central star appears to be a binary and may have a period of 14-20 days.  It’s age is 10-25,000 years.  Because binary novas can have more than one event where they become very bright and expel more gases, there is speculation that this might be the Star of Bethlehem heralding the birth of Christ.  

See http://astronomy-links.net/StarofBethlehem

Also: Other theories of an astronomical explanation of the Star of Bethlehem:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/realmedia/sky_at_night_dec.ram