Has my star sign changed? Why the 13th sign Ophiuchus ‘discovered by Nasa’ isn’t new, and what it means for horoscopes
Astrology fans have been rocked by the news their star sign has “changed” – apparently due to Nasa discovering a 13th sign.
The sign is called Ophiuchus, and is known as the serpent-bearer.
If reports are to be believed this “brand new” discovery significantly alters the star signs. Anyone born between 29 November and 17 December would be an Ophiuchus, with Scorpio’s window cut to just seven days.
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These are the new zodiac dates being touted:
Capricorn: 20 January to 15 February
Aquarius: 16 February to 11 March
Pisces: 11 March to 18 April
Aries: 18 April to 13 May
Taurus: 13 May to 21 June
Gemini: 21 June to 20 July
Cancer: 20 July to 10 August
Leo: 10 August to 16 September
Virgo: 16 September to 30 October
Libra: 30 October to 23 November
Scorpio: 23 November to 29 November
Ophiuchus: 29 November to 17 December
Sagittarius: 17 December to 20 January
A depiction of how Ophiuchus looks in the sky (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Nasa has not discovered a 13th star sign
However, Nasa has not discovered Ophiuchus, nor has it updated the zodiac chart.
Ophiuchus has been known about for a very long time – the Ancient Greeks first discovered it thousands of years ago.
Nasa has also not changed the signs of the zodiac – Nasa has nothing to do with astrology, which has no proven basis in fact.
What caused the confusion?
Because of the way Earth and the other planets in the solar system orbit the sun, from Earth it looks like the sun moves around us once per year.
This means, as we see it, the sun passes into the same constellations at the same time every year.
Ophiuchus is known as the serpent-bearer (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The 12 constellations that make up the astrological signs are well known, but there are actually as many as 21, they are just smaller, and their stars don’t appear as prominently in the sky.
This has meant that for years, signs like Ophiuchus have been ignored by astrologers in favour of the 12 “main” signs. They have always been there and always been known about, astrology just chooses not to use them.
Why are people talking about this now?
The uproar is all down to a blog post from 2016 on a Nasa website called Space Place, which is aimed at children, that has resurfaced.
However, the exact same story of a 13th star sign had done the rounds before this, in 2011.
The blog explains how the Babylonians, who lived over 3,000 years ago, created the zodiac chart.
They decided to split it into 12, to correspond neatly with the 12 months of their calendar, despite the fact they had recognised 13 constellations.
They chose to leave out Ophiuchus, and so the 12 star signs that spawned the horoscopes many people read today were born.
What does this mean? If you’re a believer in astrology, don’t worry, absolutely nothing has actually changed.