How Well Do You Know Your Zodiac Signs?

constellations on which the zodiac signs are based

The zodiac signs are based on the constellations that can be seen with the naked eye.

NASA is one of the most respected institutions when it comes to space exploration and the science behind the makings of the universe, so it was a surprise to see that some people who work at the Space Agency care about the zodiac so much, that they recalculated the dates of the zodiac signs in order to make room for the thirteenth sign.

Astrology Is Not a Science

“Astrology is not Astronomy,” NASA says on its official Tumblr page.

However, even though the Space Agency admitted that there is no science in the ancient art of astrology, it did care about the influence of the stars enough to recalculate the zodiac so that it would include Ophiuchus, the thirteenth sign.

It All Dates Back from the Babylonians

To understand why NASA had to recalculate the zodiac in the first place, we must first take a look back in the past, approximately 3,000 years ago when the Babylonians used to stare at the sky and wonder what the stars were up to.

Even though they lived thousands of years ago, the Babylonians were very keen on astronomy. They correctly identified some star clusters and even gave a permanent name to other constellations.

However, they also believed that the position of the stars somehow influenced the birth and life of individuals, so they attributed every month to a constellation, thus creating the zodiac. Because they wanted to keep a slight sense of order in their calculations, they left out Ophiuchus, or the Serpent Bearer, as it is also known.

 The Position of the Stars Shifts and So Must the Zodiac Signs

Because the Earth’s axis shifts a little every year, the position of the stars in the sky changes as well, meaning that what we now see in the sky in August is not the same thing that the Babylonians saw during the same month.

NASA thought that the shift in the dynamics of the night’s sky must be applied to the ancient art of astrology, and so the new order of the zodiac signs was born.

The changes aren’t that significant, especially if you know your sign for conversational purposes only, but the science behind the decision remains fascinating.

For more information about the common points between astrology and astronomy, you can always visit NASA’s Tumblr account.

Image source: Wikipedia 

About Carol Harper

Carol Harper began her career as a screenwriter before turning to journalism. Before earning her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Creative Writing, Carol travelled across Europe and Asia to find both herself and inspiration. She enjoys covering health & science topics.