Published: Mon, October 03, 2016
Science | By Hubert Green

No, We Didn't Change the Zodiac Signs

No, We Didn't Change the Zodiac Signs

If you're an astrology fan, you may have heard that NASA was changing the Zodiac signs. However, it turns out that a little confusion spiraled into a star-crossed mess. Well, kind of. According to Time Magazine, a society of astronomers in Minnesota apparently redefined the zodiac calendar to reflect a Babylonian-era, 13th sign: Ophiuchus. This is so because they were then working only with a calendar that has 12 months.

The Ancient Babylonians divided the ancient sky into 12 pieces, each 30 degrees apart, which followed the sun as it supposedly traveled around the Earth over the course of a year.

Here are the brand-new astrological dates and signs, check your new sign. "They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 'slices", the post explained. NASA has nothing to do with determining or changing Zodiac charts. As NASA points out, this means that much like a clock, things have been wound back, changing the dates associated with a number of the signs.

For more information about the common points between astrology and astronomy, you can always visit NASA's Tumblr account. Any change would affect those people that buy birthstones and zodiac tattoos, and goes some way to explaining the reaction to the original article. We didn't change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.

NASA also pointed out that the Babylonian's zodiac doesn't exactly work as intended anymore since the Earth's axis has shifted slightly in the last 3,000 years. Astrologers have willfully ignored the 13th constellation for centuries, and some people argue that there are as many as 21 constellations through which the sun passes. However, even as it is all about ancient history and the Babylonians, that does not mean that NASA and astronomy do not have an influence on the zodiac, in fact, it would seem there is quite a bit of chaos surrounding the signs.

Earth's axis has shifted since the concept of the zodiac was first invented, so the constellations don't correspond to the same time periods anymore. Instead of following the stars' movements, Western astrology is based on the Sun's path as seen from Earth.

First, NASA laid out the difference between astrology (wacky pseudoscience) and astronomy (real science).

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