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Worth the drive: Rainwater Observatory explores Christmas Star phenomenon


This 2006 painting is by Edwin Faughn, Rainwater Observatory director and presenter of a Dec. 8 program about

This 2006 painting is by Edwin Faughn, Rainwater Observatory director and presenter of a Dec. 8 program about "The Christmas Star." Photo by: Courtesy image


Special to The Dispatch



Rainwater Observatory in French Camp offers a free program, "The Christmas Star," at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, presented by Observatory director Edwin Faughn. The program is sponsored by 4 County Electric Power Association.  


"The Christmas Star" or "Star of Bethlehem" has been debated among scientists and theologians for centuries. Was it a comet, supernova, planetary conjunction, a biblical allegory or totally supernatural event that announced the birth of Jesus Christ? Faughn will lead an informative journey of discovery about the celestial event using the latest biblical as well as scientific research. 


After the presentation, weather permitting, an observing session will be held using some of Rainwater Observatory's collection of powerful telescopes. The planetarium can be used if outdoor observing is clouded out.  


Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium is located one mile east of the Natchez Trace Parkway off Mississippi Highway 413 near the village of French Camp in Choctaw County. Come early and enjoy Steak Night at the Council House Cafe, another support ministry of French Camp Academy. 




About the presenter 


Observatory director Faughn is also an artist and lecturer specializing in space sciences. His audiences have included universities, museums, science centers, schools, churches of most major denominations and other faith-based and civic organizations. His original artwork has been featured in and on the covers of international space science magazines, exhibitions and planetarium productions. His credits include Scientific American, Federal Express World Headquarters and the world premiere of "Titanic: The Exhibition." 


Faughn also served almost 20 years as art director for the Sharpe Planetarium of the Pink Palace Family of Museums in Memphis, Tennessee. His work has been featured on the main Kepler website of NASA's Ames Research Center. His work may be seen at or 


For more information contact Edwin Faughn at Rainwater Observatory: 662-547-7283 or [email protected] 


For more information, contact Faughn at 662-547-7283 or email [email protected] 


Sign up for the observatory's free e-newsletter on the homepage at



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