Problem is, this ignores what Matthew clearly says.
"Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."The word for "seen" here means to observe. It's not a Star that was brand new in the night sky. It's a star (a planet clearly since it moves) that was always there and that they always thought of as "His Star".
Some will try to argue "Planetes Aster" would have been used if it was a planet. First I believe the ancient traditions that Matthew was originally in Hebrew which had no distinct term for Planet. The Magi also may not have been speaking in Greek as they inquired about this, but in Hebrew, the native language of the King they were seeking. Second, a Planetes is a type of star in terms of what star meant to ancient Greeks, it being a specific kind of star doesn't make it inaccurate to simply call one a star. The New Testament does not use Planetes when calling Jesus the morning star, which is a title of Venus.
Now some think Matthew 2:9 says that Star appeared again and hadn't been visible before that. That is reading something into it that isn't there.
It being seen "in the east" does not tell us anything about where in the night sky the star was visible, it only refers to the Magi having been in the east when they observed it.
And it was Micah's prophecy that sent them to Bethlehem. That Star's additional behavior just helped them determine where in Bethlehem.
Jupiter is the brightest planet and so I think it's the most likely candidate. It also was a Planet constantly linked with Kingship. Just as Regulus was the stationary Star linked with Kingship.
I am a supporter of viewing it as the September 11th 3 BC Jupiter-Reuglus conjunctions marking the birth of Jesus. ([Update]I no longer am, I have changed my view on Jesus Birthrate, but still hold the same view of the Star of Bethlehem.)
Studying Jupiter's movements in 3-2 BC places the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem on December 25th 2 BC
Jupiter being in Leo happens for about a year every twelve years. It doesn't always have a conjunction with Regulus but it's not uncommon. What is uncommon is Jupiter's retrograde going through where Regulus is, and even other times that does happen it's not a conjunction all three times. A triple conjunction between Jupiter and Regulus is rare, and the first conjunction beginning on Yom Teruah is interesting.
Jupiter being in Conjunction with Venus is not super rare either, but that this rare tipple conjunction had Jupiter-Venus conjurations both before and after is interesting. Now people placing the birth of Jesus in September of 3 BC haves gone and described that the June 17th Jupiter-Venus looks kind of like Jupiter and Venus are getting married. Now that I've decided I do place the Birth of Jesus on December 25th 2 BC, I also place the birth of John The Baptist on June 24th, which was possibly Tammuz 17 on the Hebrew Calendar. Mary left Elizabeth to return to Nazareth a little before that, which is when the events of Matthew 1 took place culminating in the marriage of Mary and Joseph.
The Star that Astonished the World book does make a lot of mistakes. I don't think it Astonished the word, I don't think most pagans or astrologists saw any significance to it. By secular standards the previous time Jupiter was in Leo around 26 BC was more impressive, Jupiter, Saturn and Regulus had a triple conjunction, on the Summer Solstice.
I think these were a special subgroup within the Magi responding to a sign Daniel had taught them to look for. I think he told them that when you see Jupiter conjunction with Regulus 3 times in less then a year (possibly also mentioning the Venus conjunctions before and after), a little after the following winter solstice (or if they were using a Lunar calendar then during the last week of Tevet) they should arrive in Jerusalem looking for the one who is "Born King of The Jews". I also think it's possible this specific group of Magi could have had Ephraimite ancestry.
And it got what day on the Hebrew calendar December 25th of 2 BC fell on wrong. Which is odd since it got September 11th of 3 BC right (it was Yom Teruah) counting the New Moons from there puts us in Tevet for most of December of 2 BC. The Solar Eclipse on December 26th 2 BC makes that evening that New Moon of Shevat.
I also disagree with bringing Revelation 12 into this. The signs in the Heavens in Revelation 12 are yet future, they follow the Last Trump.
This is the first in a series of Christmas themed posts I intend to do.