Thanks to an interview with an astronomer, the Internet has gone crazy over new truths written in the stars. Instead of the 12 zodiac constellations we've all known and loved, it turns out that there's a 13th zodiac sign out there. And it's called Ophiuchus. Weird...
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An astronomer named Parke Kunkle has spilled the beans
on what has never been a secret in astronomy: the 12 zodiac signs are inaccurate. The zodiac is defined by the position of the Sun in the sky throughout the year. And, thanks to some astronomy and physics craziness, the Sun's position on any given date changes slightly from year to year. Over the roughly 3000 years we've used this same zodiac, the moving Sun has destroyed any precision originally found in the zodiac.
The zodiac is so far off these days that we even have a "new," 13th sign: Ophiuchus. The constellation is supposed to be a man holding a pair of snakes (freaky!) and has been a standard constellation since the ancient Greeks, more than 2000 years ago.
What are the new dates for the sign of Ophiuchus? The Sun's movement puts it within the boundaries of the constellation between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17. Sorry Sagittarius! You've just lost an awful lot of your constituents.
All of the zodiac dates are messed up. Whatever you thought your sign was, you're almost definitely wrong:
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
Scorpio is a long and skinny constellation. The Sun isn't there too long, hence the shortened dates.
Celebrities are also, of course, affected by the presence of Ophiuchus in our once-reliable zodiac. Any TV star born within the Ophiuchan dates can no longer attribute their success to the beneficial effects of Sagittarius.
Which of our esteemed television stars are affected?
- Howie Mandel: Nov. 29
- Dick Clark: Nov. 30
- Mandy Patinkin: Nov. 30
- Elisha Cuthbert: Nov. 30
- Kaley Cuoco: Nov. 30
- Nestor Carbonell: Dec. 1
- Sarah Silverman: Dec. 1
- Holly Marie Combs: Dec. 3
- Amanda Seyfried: Dec. 3
- Jake T. Austin: Dec. 3
- Margaret Cho: Dec. 5
- Amy Acker: Dec. 5
- Frankie Muniz: Dec. 5
- Shiri Appleby: Dec. 7
- Jennifer Carpenter: Dec. 7
- Teri Hatcher: Dec. 8
- Dominic Monaghan: Dec. 8
- Ian Somerhalder: Dec. 8
- Felicity Huffman: Dec. 9
- Simon Helberg: Dec. 9
- Dick Van Dyke: Dec. 13
- Vanessa Hudgens: Dec. 14
- Jon Tenney: Dec. 16
Of course, none of this actually makes any difference, either astronomically or astrologically.
The constellation-boundary changes that brought Ophiuchus into the zodiac actually date from 1930, when the International Astronomical Union adopted the current mapping of the night sky
. And, while the Sun's precise position slowly changes from year to year, the movement isn't so fast. This particular period of Ophiuchus signage has been going on for years.
It's only just now that we bothered to pay attention.
If you're concerned about how the inclusion of Ophiuchus could affect your daily horoscope, not to worry. The zodiac signs and dates used by astrologers and printed in newspapers have been divorced from the Sun's actual position for years. Centuries, actually. The zodiac signs instead correspond to specific, defined locations in the sky. The actual dates and signs were determined thousands of years ago and have been inaccurate for centuries.
In any case, now we all know a new, cool name to add to our astrological collection. That can't be anything but a good sign.
What do you think about the "new" dates for the zodiac? Are you an Ophiuchus? Do you think it makes a difference? Let us know in the comments section!
(Image from The Book of the Constellations)