The article mentions the Epiphany timing of the announcement (celebrating the visit of the Magi), perhaps not a coincidence. Calvin College is the primary college of the conservative Christian Reformed Church, the Dutch Reformed spin-off I mentioned in another thread.
It was actually while living near Calvin many years ago that I saw a presentation at the local planetarium that cast the Christmas Star story as a real astrological event.
Still hard to explain how the Christmas star was "over" a particularly place, however, and could be followed. Minor trivia: the Bible never says there were three Magi.