Online hysteria over the 13th zodiac sign: how it changes the horoscope and why it's not true
Social networks and media are in an uproar - the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has allegedly added a 13th sign to the zodiac circle. That is, claim the network, now all astrology officially and finally changes its face. Most people on the planet live under the wrong sign.
OBOZREVATEL looked into this story. We tell about the mysterious Ophiuchus and what will now be with astrology.
Where did the Ophiuchus come from?
In fact, it didn't come out of nowhere - it's always been there. At least from the point of view of the period of mankind's existence. It is a constellation lying within the same imaginary circle in which all the zodiacal signs are located. Moreover, even the ancient Babylonians, who invented astrology, knew about it.
As NASA explained in its Tumblr blog back in 2016, representatives of the ancient civilization guessed to draw an imaginary line pointing from the Earth to the Sun like an arrow. They carefully traced what that arrow pointed to over the course of a solar year, and it happened over 3,000 years ago.
The conclusions of ancient astronomers were quite accurate and pointed (surprise) to 13 constellations located on a conventional circle, which later became known as the zodiacal. And then the manipulations began. Since the Babylonians used a calendar divided into 12 months, they chose only 12 constellations and correlated them with the months of the year. And at the same time, they assigned certain traits to everyone born under each of the signs.
So, as we can see, amateur astrologers use a system invented several millennia ago and since then has never been revised. But at least two astronomical facts point to its fallacy. The first - for 3000 years the position of heavenly bodies to each other has shifted and the modern zodiac, as an imaginary line on the firmament, looks different from the time of ancient Babylon. And we will talk a little more about the second one further on.
What are constellations and what does the zodiac have to do with it?
An ordinary person imagines a constellation as a certain cluster of stars in a limited space. This is because from the ground they look like a group of dots in the sky, which can be connected to each other. Just like in a child's puzzle, where you need to draw lines between the dots and see the picture. For example, in Orion, the ancient Greeks recognized a hunter with a sword attached to his belt.
In reality, the stars that make up the constellations are located at great distances from each other and may not be connected in any way. But even when viewed from Earth, they still have a certain shape and size, which are far from equal. This means that the Sun cannot move through them for equal periods of time. So astronomers point out that in fact the solar "arrow" points into the sign of Virgo for 45 days. And the period of Scorpio lasts only 7 days. Nevertheless, the ancient Babylonians ignored this fact and divided the year into relatively equal parts, fixing each its own sign. This is how the astrological calendar came into being.
So what did NASA do in the end and why is there such a stir on the internet?
All NASA did was, in the same 2016, publish an article on a children's website explaining what constellations are. And as an example in this explanation they took the zodiacal circle, in which they also pointed out the Serpentine, which is an integral part of this circle.
In a separate paragraph in the article, the agency's experts explained the difference between astronomy and astrology. They called the former a science with a clear evidence base, and the latter - a cultural phenomenon, laden with myths and fictions. And clearly noted that astrology is not engaged in astrology, zodiac served as an understandable example, and the ancient names of constellations are used because it was convenient enough even for scientific observations.
However, amateur astrologers ignored this clarification. And hastened to declare that NASA has revised the zodiacal calendar. Even made a list with new dates, distributed now between the 13 constellations. It looks like this:
- Capricorn - from January 20 to February 16;
- Aquarius - from February 16 to March 11;
- Pisces from March 11 to April 18;
- Aries - from April 18 to May 13;
- Taurus - May 13 through June 21;
- Gemini - from June 21 to July 20;
- Cancer - July 20 to August 10;
- Leo - August 10 through September 16;
- Virgo - from September 16 to October 30;
- Libra - from Oct. 30 to Nov. 23;
- Scorpio - from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29;
- Ophiuchus - from Nov. 29 to Dec. 17;
- Sagittarius - December 17 through January 20.
Now every few years this information pops up on the internet and people start recalculating their zodiac sign. This can be quite a fun pastime, but astronomers once again emphasize that it has nothing to do with real science.
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