Articles may have flooded the internet about how NASA just updated the Astrological Signs after 3000 years and even added a new zodiac sign called the Ophiuchus (for those born between Nov.29 to Dec.17) but Astronomer Phil Plait debunked this claim on his Slate blog article.
According to Plait
, NASA did not update the astrological signs and the constellations haven’t changed. The so-called 13th
sign, Ophiuchus, has already been identified by the Greeks thousands of years ago and is an ancient constellation.
, “the planets, including the Earth, orbit the Sun on pretty much the same plane (from the side, the solar system’s planets’ orbits look flat). From the Earth, it looks like the Sun moves around us once per year. The path it takes across the sky is the same year after year, and we call this the ecliptic. The planets all move across the sky in that same path, too. So, like clockwork, the Sun passes into the same constellations at a certain time every year. You know the names of these constellations: Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpius, Aries, Gemini… the constellation of the zodiac, or, if you prefer, the zodiacal constellations.”
In his article, Plait also mentioned that there are more than 12 constellations the sun can actually pass through and that includes Ophiuchus, which is the biggest. It is also called serpent-bearer and has a huge constellation. The sun has even been known to spend more time in Ophiuchus than Sporpius.
So the claim that Ophiuchus has been just added by NASA is definitely wrong since it has been there a long time but was just ignored by astrologers.
Additionally, there aren’t 13 zodiacal constellations, there are actually as many as 21
. Since earth spins very slowly, dates change when the sun is in a given constellation over centuries. So if you were an Aries before in ancient Greece, you’d probably be a Pisces now.
When did the false story
start (even writing how NASA ruined their lives)? Plait said that it probably started when an astrologer just read Constellations and the Calendar
, a SpacePlace article updated last Jan.2016 and he probably misinterpreted the idea about how zodiac constellations are defined and how they changed overtime. The probably then starting claiming that NASA changed the zodiac. And this “false story” isn’t the first time