New astrological dates

New astrological dates DEFAULT

Every six months or so, the internet promptly panics when yet another story about “Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign” goes viral. Apparently, the viral story goes, NASA has just discovered a 13th zodiac sign, and the other 12 zodiac signs have had to shift their dates to make room, changing everyone on Earth’s zodiac sign in the process. Sounds chaotic, right?

Sorry, but, um, this isn’t a thing. We’re here to tell you to calm down—you’re still a Cancer or a Pisces or an Aries or whatever. This viral story has been popping up here and there since the 1970s—yep, pre-internet!and every time, it’s been debunked. But even in 2021, stories about “Ophiuchus” still keep resurfacing. So let’s talk about it.

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According to Snopes, these stories have been circulating online since at least as far back as 2002 via various chain letters and viral blog posts. A flurry of headlines were published in early 2016 after NASA published a (since-deleted) blog post on its children’s site, Space Place, showing where Ophiuchus would fall in the zodiac if astrologers decided to include it, while acknowledging that, well, they didn’t. More recently, USA Today traced some 2020 headlines about the “13th zodiac sign” back to a viral Facebook post from a Virginia-based radio station.

Although Ophiuchus is not part of the zodiac, there is a teeny-tiny bit of truth in these viral stories: Ophiuchus is a constellation (although not a “new” one), and the appearance of the constellations in the sky has changed over time. But this is undeniably astronomy, not astrology, and it doesn’t affect your zodiac sign.

First, the Ophiuchus constellation isn’t new. In fact, we’ve known about it for thousands of years—according to The Guardian, the first recorded mention of Ophiuchus came in 300 BC. It’s always been a part of the Sun’s path in the sky (called the ecliptic), but it’s largely been left out of astrology.

The origins of the zodiac go back approximately 2,500 years when the Babylonians separated the sky into 12 different sections. They studied an apparent relationship between the constellations’ placements in the sky and the movement of the Sun, and thus, the 12 signs were born. They saw the constellation of Ophiuchus, too, but since it didn’t fit neatly into one of these 12 slices, they decided to leave it out of the zodiac—along with dozens of other constellations.So, no, scientists didn’t “just discover it.”

However, the Earth’s wobbly axis means none of the constellations are in the same place they were all those years ago, from our POV on Earth looking up at the sky. That, along with the sheer existence of this not-new constellation, means some people argue that the astrological signs we’ve all come to know and love have altered. (These people are not astrologers.)

Even though Ophiuchus is undoubtedly an observed constellation (located northwest of the center of the Milky Way, in case you were curious), could it have the chance to be an actual member of the zodiac? Well, astronomers won’t comment on that part, considering astrology is not science, and astrologers aren’t buying that our signs have shifted.

Below is all the info you need to know about the Ophiuchus constellation.

It’s associated with Asclepius, the famous healer in Greek mythology.

Ophiuchus was named as a mixture of two Greek words—“serpent” and “bearing.” So it’s no surprise that the face of the constellation is commonly Asclepius, the god of medicine in ancient Greek mythology, who holds a staff with a serpent wrapped around it (which, fun fact, is also the well-known symbol of the World Health Organization).

Ophiuchus is depicted as an image of exactly what you might expect: a large, powerful man holding a large snake represented by Serpens, a neighboring constellation, which is usually coiled around his waist. Because of this, Ophiuchus is sometimes also called Serpentarius.

Prominent figures in astrology don’t believe Ophiuchus changes anything.

“There are a lot of constellations—88, if you want to get right down to it—so I’m not sure why everyone’s up in arms about this one,” Susan Miller told Elle back in 2011 (yeah, 10 years ago). “The ancients discussed whether or not to include a 13th sign—they debated, they did empirical studies, and in the end, they felt it was not significant. Remember, they invented astrology and we have to go with what they gave us.”

The AstroTwins pointed out the same thing NASA did in the original report: “Astronomy and astrology are NOT one and the same.” While everyone can agree that the constellations have shifted in relation to the Earth over time, the zodiac sign you’ve always identified with is based on a Western astrological system, not the actual constellation.

Astrologer Rick Levine clarified to, “Ophiuchus has nothing to do with astrology. It’s not an astrology issue. It has to do with the stars—it’s not a sign, it’s a constellation.”

In other words, Western astrology is based on zodiac signs, not the actual constellations. And practitioners of sidereal/Vedic astrology, which is more closely aligned with the constellations, don’t include this “13th sign” either. As Astrologically magazine puts it: “It should be noted that even in sidereal/Vedic astrology, Ophiuchus is still regarded with skepticism and may be left out of horoscopes and natal chart readings.”

Constellational astrologers, who focus entirely on constellations, not signs, might include the constellation of Ophiuchus. However, this is a very small subset of astrologers. Astrologically explains, “Constellational astrology is not widely recognized or practiced by esteemed astrologers.”

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If you’re wondering what your sign would be if astrologers did include Ophiuchus, Marie Claire UK has the list.

Here we go:

  • Capricorn: January 20 to February 16
  • Aquarius: February 16 to March 11
  • Pisces: March 11 to April 18
  • Aries: April 18 to May 13
  • Taurus: May 13 to June 21
  • Gemini: June 21 to July 20
  • Cancer: July 20 to August 10
  • Leo: August 10 to September 16
  • Virgo: September 16 to October 30
  • Libra: October 30 to November 23
  • Scorpio: November 23 to November 29
  • Ophiuchus: November 29 to December 17
  • Sagittarius: December 17 to January 20

JSYK, though, other sources list different dates for the “13 signs,” and you won’t find any astrologers backing up these dates anyway. For example, in 2020, the Daily Express listed the dates for Ophiuchus as November 29 to December 27.

If you believe you are now an Ophiuchus, which, btw, is pronounced oaf-ih-YOU-kus, you’re a serpent bearer.

According to a website called Zodiac Books, qualities of an Ophiuchus are:

“House Ophiuchus represented unity. Its people were spirited, magnetic, impulsive, clever, flamboyant, and at times jealous, power-hungry, and temperamental. At their hearts, they were healers who hoped to one day rid the zodiac of every ill—disease, violence, etc.—and bring everyone closer together.

“Ophiuchans had a natural affinity for snakes, and there was a special species of serpent, the Zawinder, with whom their House’s Zodai developed a psychic connection. Each Zodai would capture and adopt his own Zawinder, which they would then use to spread messages to others in the swamp.”

Also, upon entering their teenage years, Ophiuchans also develop scaly skin to protect them from other creatures that may bite. Cool, huh?

If you think you’re an Ophiuchus now, well, okay! Just don’t expect any astrologers to agree with you. To them (and us), you’re still a Sagittarius, bb. But isn’t a centaur archer that’s actually in the zodiac much cooler than a man holding a snake anyway?

Tess KomanDigital DirectorTess Koman covers breaking (food) news, opinion pieces, and features on larger happenings in the food world.

Mili GodioMili is a Cosmopolitan intern who loves all things fashion, beauty, and pop culture.

Erika W. SmithSenior Astrology EditorAs Cosmopolitan's Senior Astrology Editor, Erika works with the Cosmo(s) Council members to help you decode your birth chart and prepare for every Mercury Retrograde.

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Astrology fans, you’ve been reading the wrong star sign all this time

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Kayleigh Dray

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It’s official: the stars are not aligned for October 2021. In fact, they’ve shifted – which means your horoscope might not be what you think it is, apparently. On top of that, NASA has added a brand new zodiac sign into the mix. So, have the dates shifted on your star sign? Read on to find out…

Updated on 1 October 2021: As we enter a new month of the year (and embrace autumn in all its glory), avid astrology fans have once again turned to the stars for guidance.

And, according to astrologers, October is going to be – somewhat fittingly, given that this is the spookiest month of all – packed to the brim with cosmic tricks. In fact, we’re going to get a whopping six planetary retrogrades at the same time: Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

“There may be a rocky road ahead – but we can get through this intensity, team,” explains Lisa Stardust via Oprah Daily

“Be gentle on yourselves and kind to others. As always, lead with compassion, sensitivity, and care.” 

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Thanks to the ongoing Mercury retrograde (which ends on 18 October), astrologers also predict chaos, particularly with regards to our communication with loved ones; think sending an email to the wrong person, or accidentally ‘liking’ an ex’s Instagram post, or missing an important call. As such, we should take some time to reflect on which relationships from the past we’d like to bring into the future.

This ties in nicely (or not, as the case may be) to the fact that Venus is set to enter Sagittarius on 7 October, which may leave you feeling feel stuck, unsupported, and lovesick. 

“My advice?” says Stardust. “Don’t make any impulsive decisions that day.”

 “It is at this point that you should take a moment to see what’s happened in the last two weeks and check in with your intentions”

Thankfully, the full ‘blood’ moon on 20 October should set us right, as it represents completion and fulfilment after all of that emotional turmoil.

As moonologist and bestselling author Yasmin Boland explains: “This is the peak time of the lunar cycle, and it is at this point that you should take a moment to see what’s happened in the last two weeks and check in with your intentions.”

Sounds brilliant, right? And yet…

Well, astrology, on the surface, may be based on the position of the sun relative to certain constellations – and it may be influenced by the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars, too. However, is is absolutely not considered to be a ‘science’. Indeed, it’s been wholeheartedly rejected by the scientific community – with many pointing out that astrological predictions are too general, too unspecific to be subjected to scientific testing.

Despite this, there are many people who put great stock in what their horoscope says each morning. They carefully scan the pages of their morning newspaper, searching for their own zodiac sign, and drink in everything that the astrologer has written for them that day. Even after the thoroughly unpredictable events of the last 12 months!

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As reported on 24 July 2020: Even those of us who dismiss astrology as a load of absolute nonsense know which star sign we are. And we’ve probably read our horoscope (with a healthy dose of cynicism, of course) at least once. Or have we?

Because, as you’ve no doubt read already, it was recently revealed that everything we thought we knew about the zodiac was a lie. In fact, a massive 86% of us were actually born under a different constellation to our star sign, based on how the sky exists today… and it’s all to do with the “Earth’s wobble“.

NASA has added a brand-new 13th zodiac sign into the mix, too

Essentially, they reckon that the stars have shifted, we’ve been reading the wrong horoscope all this time, and there’s a new star sign – Ophiuchus – in the mix (more on that later).

However, astrologers have a word of warning to all those frantically casting the old zodiac aside.

Pauline Gerosa, the consultant astrologer behind Astrology Oracle, tells me: “Ophiuchus has always been one of the constellations that fall along the ecliptic. It just wasn’t selected by the ancient astrologers to be one of the 12 zodiac signs.”

When I ask her if NASA’s comments about shifting stars has any impact on the zodiac signs, Gerosa explains: “[The shift] is due to the precession of the equinoxes. The constellations have not shifted, the wobble of the earth’s axis creates the impression that they have. Eastern astrology (sidereal) reads the planets against the current view of the constellations. Western astrology (tropical) sticks with the unchanging positions and accounts for the apparent shift via the great ages (around 2,500 years in each sign). Hence the move from Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.”

“It’s important to remember that astrology is NOT astronomy,” she adds. “Astronomy is a scientific concept based on 3D material reality. Astrology is a symbolic language, a philosophy, a multidimensional concept. They used to be seen as two sides of the same coin and hopefully they will be again.”

As reported in 2016: If Gerosa’s words haven’t stopped you from struggling to make sense of NASA’s bombshell, don’t despair: it’s all very simple when you break it down.

Essentially, the date that fixes our star sign corresponds to the position of the Sun relative to constellations of stars appearing behind the Sun on our birth date.

The position of the Sun as it’s perceived from the revolving Earth passes through the constellations that formed the zodiac - Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Zodiac signs were originally determined by which constellation the Sun was ‘in’ on the day we were born. But in the more than 3000 years since our zodiac system was invented, constellations have drifted and the sky has changed.

So while we might consider ourselves to be a well-balanced Libra, or a headstrong Aries, or a “total Gemini”, that is most likely not the case. On the other hand, all of those who feel as if they just don’t connect with their own horoscope (we’re thinking of you, Scorpios), then this could be very good news indeed.

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Even stranger, however, is the fact that NASA has added a brand-new 13th zodiac sign into the mix: Ophiuchus.

“The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the Sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one,” a spokesperson explained.

“The line from Earth through the Sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days. To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12.

“Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time. Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.”

The constellation, which comes from Greek words meaning “serpent bearing” is commonly represented by a man wrestling a snake.

Unsurprisingly, Ophiuchus shares many of the same characteristics as Sagittarius, and people with its sign are described as healers and light-bearers.

However, astrologers have a word of caution for all those assuming their star sign has changed.

Here are the correct dates for the star signs:

  • Capricorn: Jan 20 - Feb 16
  • Aquarius: Feb 16 – March 11
  • Pisces: March 11 – April 18
  • Aries: April 18 – May 13
  • Taurus: May 13 – June 21
  • Gemini: June 21 – July 20
  • Cancer: July 20 – Aug 10
  • Leo: Aug 10 – Sept 16
  • Virgo: Sept 16 – Oct 30
  • Libra: Oct 30 – Nov 23
  • Scorpio: Nov 23 – Nov 29
  • Ophiuchus: Nov 29 – Dec 17
  • Sagittarius: Dec 17 – Jan 20

The BBC previously speculated that ancient astrologers perhaps ignored Ophiuchus because they wanted to chart the 360 degree path of the Sun in a mathematically pleasing way of 12 equal parts, each one of 30 degrees. Whatever the reason, the unfamiliar constellation represents a man wrestling a serpent, dividing the snake’s body in two parts.

As such, Ophiuchus is considered a healer of men, a doctor of medicine, or a scientist who seeks higher education and enlightenment.  He’s also an interpreter of dreams, favoured by his father and other authority figures, and expected to achieve a high position in life.

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If you’re still not sure that your personality fits your new star sign, of course, it doesn’t matter too much; after all, there’s nobody to stop you reading your old horoscope.

As NASA themselves explain, no one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birth date.”

They add that the zodiac is “not science” and that it simply offers comfort in a similar manner to “reading fantasy stories”. 

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Images: Getty/Anastasia Dulgier/Unsplash/iStock

This article was originally published in 2016, but has been updated throughout to ensure all information is correct.


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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Your life is a lie: The zodiac has changed — here's your (new?) sign

This news may be especially hard to hear for Libras, who crave balance and order. Or Leos, whose sense of self is strong. Geminis, both sides of you may be rocked.

Are you sitting down? Good. Because the zodiac has changed. What you long believed was your astrological sign may not be your astrological sign.

And, a bunch of us now have wack tattoos.

The dates for the Western zodiac calendar have, it turns out, shifted, with each one starting later — like, a lot later. If you were a Capricorn born in early to mid-January, you're now a Sagittarius.

Cancers born in early to mid-July? Stop being such emotional cry-babies. You're actually Geminis.

Oh, and there's a new 13th astrological sign now: Ophiuchus. Sounds like a "Matrix" character, we know. But those of you born between Nov. 29 to Dec. 17, you're all now Ophiuchus-es.

RELATED: What's your sign? Nail salon matches mani to your astrology

NASA broke the news early this year in a blog post that explained that when ancient Babylonians created the zodiac over 3,000 years ago, they wanted dates on the calendar to correspond with star constellations. But, there were 13 constellations, and they were working with a 12-month calendar. So they ditched Ophiuchus.

NASA also pointed out that the Earth's axis doesn't even point in the same direction as it did when the original constellations were drawn, so all our signs have different date ranges now anyway.

In other words: astrological chaos. And the science nerds at NASA don't even care that they've upended our lives. They released a statement last week explaining, "Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.”

RELATED: Astrology expert Kelley Rosano shares fun design ideas for Leos

Here are the brand-new astrological dates and signs, if you can bear to look.

Capricorn: Jan. 20 to Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16 to March 11

Pisces: March 11 to April 18

Aries: April 18 to May 13

Taurus: May 13 to June 21

Gemini: June 21 to July 20

Cancer: July 20 to Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10 to Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16 to Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30 to Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23 to Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 to Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17 to Jan. 20

Has NASA changed your zodiac sign? - The TRUTH about Ophiuchus and the 13th Zodiac Sign

Star sign dates: What are the zodiac signs dates for 2021? Full list

You have probably heard someone saying they’re on the cusp of two signs, but that can’t be true.

As of January 20, it's Aquarius season... but the dates may have been different on another year. 

Francesca said: “There is no cusp, but magazines are always a little vague because they give you two possible dates because the dates change.”

Your Sun sign is determined by where the Sun was (which constellation it was in) at your time of birth.

It isn't tied to the date you were born, because the Sun sometimes enters a constellation on a different date. 

Your sign therefore doesn’t change every year, but the dates do change and that determines the signs of those being born this year.

For example if you were born on August 23, you are probably a Virgo.

However on some years the Sun enters Virgo a day earlier on August 22, making some people born on August 23 Leos. 


Dates new astrological

Fact Check-False posts about NASA changing the zodiac resurface

Posts sharing the claim that NASA changed the zodiac to include a 13th astrological sign are false. NASA addressed the claim on its Twitter page, explaining that it did not change zodiac itself but included a sign that has been left out since Babylonian times.

Example posts can be seen here and here .

The text on one post reads: “Apparently NASA did some research and said they have been reading the zodiac signs incorrectly and these are the correct dates anyone heard about this??”

The image in the posts features shifted dates for the existing astrological signs and includes a new one called “Ophiuchus” for the dates of Nov. 29 to Dec. 17.


NASA explained in a tweet posted on July 16, 2020 here , that it did not change the zodiac. The tweet reads: “We see your comments about a zodiac story that re-emerges every few years. No, we did not change the zodiac. When the Babylonians invented the constellations 3,000 years ago, they chose to leave out a 13th sign. So, we did the math.”

The tweet links to a NASA Tumblr page here , where it explains the story in more depth and points out the difference between astronomy, which is “the scientific study of everything in outer space”, and astrology, “the belief that the positions of stars and planets can influence human events.”

The page also explains that the Babylonians, who lived over 3,000 years ago, divided the zodiac into 12 parts and chose a constellations for each one, corresponding with 12 months of the calendar.

“But even according to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and crossed over into the next one.”


Astrology believers questioning whether their signs have now shifted can rest at ease. Reuters reached out to astrologers to find out if Ophiuchus resulted in people’s star signs shifting, the primary apparent concern among comments on these social media posts.

“As an astrologer, I can assure you that your zodiac sign didn't change,” assured Nina Kahn, author and astrologer ( She told Reuters via email, “Ophiuchus is a real constellation, but it's not a zodiac sign. As you may know, there are many constellations in the sky, but not all of them are included in the zodiac.”

Rebecca Gordon, professional astrologer (here), reiterated that while Ophiuchus is a constellation, this does not make it a zodiac sign. She told Reuters in a statement that Ophiuchus has nothing to do with the 12 zodiac signs that have been in use "for thousands of years to create an accurate calendar which aligns us with the natural cycles and Sun's apparent path.”

Echoing NASA’s point, Kahn added, “Astronomy and astrology are two very different things!”

Further reading on the topic can be found here , here , here , here .


Misleading. NASA did not change the zodiac to shift dates and add another astrological sign.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

October 2021 Predictions: Something BIG Is Going on and About to Come Down!

What is my new star sign? NASA's Ophiuchus dates and meaning explained


ots of people enjoy looking up their horoscope, whether they take it seriously or do it for a bit of fun, but NASA has thrown a huge spanner in the works after declaring there are 13 star signs instead of 12.

According to a resurfaced blog post, Babylonians invented the zodiac more than 3,000 years ago to help make sense of the world.

The ancient people divided the sky into 12 sections to coincide with the 12 months of the year.

However, their system didn't completely match up with the earth's orbits so they decided to leave out Ophiuchus, the 13th sign.

Star signs are split up into 12 houses in the western world 


What is the new star sign?

Star signs are determined by the sun's position in the sky in relation to a constellation on the day of your birth.

Not only did the Babylonians know that they had left out a sign, but the night's sky has changed and the earth's axis has altered since they devised their system.

This has led some people to believe the star signs have changed.

The houses are devised on constellations and the sun's position on the day of birth

In the blog post NASA said as well as the "12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year".

It added: "The Babylonians picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out.

"Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn't fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one."

However, it did note that astronomy and astrology are not the same - so while experts can agree that constellations have moved over time, astrology is based on an accepted Western system.

What is Ophiuchus?

Ophiuchus is a snake bearer and is the sign for people who were born between November 29 and December 27.

Read more

Nasa has no time for your 'new star sign' nonsense

But those who believe the change say it is not just Sagittarians who are affected - and the addition has shaken up the zodiac as we know it.

The Zodiac Books layouts the characteristics of the sign and said: "Its people were spirited, magnetic, impulsive, clever, flamboyant, and at times jealous, power-hungry, and temperamental.

"At their hearts, they were healers who hoped to one day rid the zodiac of every ill—disease, violence, etc.—and bring everyone closer together."

Has my star sign changed under the system?

Technically, no. Nasa has nothing to do with astrology. However, just in case you fancy taking a look anyway, these are the proposed new dates:

  • Capricorn: Previously December 22 – January 20 and now January 20 - February 16.
  • Aquarius: Previously January 21 - February 18 and now February 16 to March 11.
  • Pisces: Previously February 19 – March 20 and now March 11 to April 18.
  • Aries: Previously March 21 – April 20 and now April 18 to May 13.
  • Taurus: Previously April 21 – May 21 and now May 13 to June 21.
  • Gemini: Previously May 22 - June 21 and now June 21 to July 20.
  • Cancer: Previously June 22 to July 22 and now July 20 to August 10.
  • Leo: Previously July 23 to August 23 and now August 10 to September 16.
  • Virgo: Previously August 24 to September 22 and now September 16 to October 30.
  • Libra: Previously September 23 to October 23 and now October 30 to November 23.
  • Scorpio: Previously October 24 – ­November 22 and now November 23 to November 29
  • Ophiuchus: November 29 to December 17.
  • Sagittarius: Previously November 23 – December 21 and now December 17 - January 20.
MORE ABOUTExplainers & TrendsStar signsZodiacNasaSours:

Now discussing:

NASA Elegantly Shuts Down Those New Zodiac Star Theories

A new story about an old misunderstanding is once again circulating—and NASA is once again setting the record straight.

It all started with a resurfaced story NASA “discovered” a 13th zodiac sign—Ophiuchus, or the serpent-bearer. Anyone born between November 29 and December 17 would no longer be a Scorpio or a Sagittarius, but an Ophiuchus. Scorpio’s window would be cut to just seven days and the entire astrology chart would shift, meaning some Pisces and Leos and Libras would have different star signs. As astrology lovers online started to panic, NASA gently waded into the online fray to set the record straight.

“We see your comments about a zodiac story that re-emerges every few years,” the space agency wrote in a tweet. “No, we did not change the zodiac.” It includes a link to a Tumblr post that explains what actually happened.

In a blog post, NASA patiently explains the difference between astronomy (“the scientific study of everything in space”) and astrology (“[i]t’s not considered a science”). NASA then notes that the zodiac signs are simply constellations that are in line with the Earth and the Sun as the planet follows its orbit. Earth actually travels through 13 signs, including Capricorn, Aries, and, yes, Ophiuchus, but some 3,000 years ago the Babylonians—not NASA—decided 12 was neater than 13, so excluded the 13th zodiac sign and divided the zodiac into 12 parts based on the 12 months of their calendar, according to NASA.

“The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days. To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time,” NASA explains in their post.

Back in 2011, as TIME reported, astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found that because of the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars has shifted, so the sun points to different parts of the zodiac at different times. “So, we didn’t change any zodiac signs…we just did the math,” the space agency’s blog post concludes.

That post was originally written in 2016, but as the story of a shifting zodiac circulates once again, NASA has retweeted it again.

While the Tumblr post it linked too is fairly straight forward, the staid space agency gets a little spicier in its take on astronomy on its early education site. “No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birth date,” NASA writes on their children’s site. “Still, like reading fantasy stories, many people enjoy reading their ‘astrological forecast’ or ‘horoscope’ in the newspaper every day.”

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