As soon as the story of NASA rewriting the zodiac chart appeared in Cosmoplitan’s UK edition on Thursday, it quickly got spread by Yahoo, AOL and other news agencies claiming that NASA had issued a new zodiac chart that added a 13th sign and shifted around dates for the other twelve signs.
A lot of people have been going crazy over the news as they are in shock that the zodiac signs as they knew them would be changing forever. Now, calm down people, as NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown says it isn’t so. So how exactly did the confusion start? According to Gizmodo, the roots of this latest evolution of the story seems to be stemming from NASA’s Space Place page that attempts to explain the differences between astrology and astronomy to children.
Ironically, this page states that even 3,000 years ago, when the Babylonians created the zodiac signs as we know them, they were fully aware that they were leaving Ophiucus out – they simply chose 12 of the 13 constellations that they observed the sun passing through the match up with the 12 months of the calendar they had already created. As a result, there were 12 signs for humans to be “born under”.
The confusion came in when the NASA page pointed out that the axis of the earth has since shifted, meaning the current zodiac signs/constellations as we know them no longer match up with the months they were intended to correspond to – but then again, they never fully did. The existence of Ophiucus (which the Babylonians had always known and consciously ignored) meant that for roughly 18 days of the year, the designated sun signs were at odds with the constellations they claimed to be matching up to – a face that was purposely overlooked.
In an email reply to Gizmodo, “We didn’t change any Zodiac signs, we simply did the math,” Brown told Gizmodo. “The Space Place article was about how astrology is not astronomy, how it was a relic of ancient history and pointed out the science that did come from observations of the night sky.”
“We study astronomy, not astrology,” Brown further added.
Now you know. The next time someone tells you that your zodiac sign has been changed, you know what to say.
Cover Photo: NASA