NASA Did Not Change Your Zodiac Sign, You Can Stop Panicking Now

astrology, horoscope, sign / / Refinery29

Over the last couple of days, there have been quite a few stories circulating about NASA updating the Zodiac chart and everyone's signs completely changing. After first appearing in an article on Cosmopolitan UK, it quickly was spread through sites like AOL, Marie Claire, Yahoo and more.

And, as is expected, people took to Twitter to panic.


Well, luckily, we are here with good news.

Your Zodiac sign did not change.

I repeat... your Zodiac sign did not change.

What happened?

NASA simply made the point that there have been changes in the sky since astrology was first introduced thousands of years ago.

The rumor that is spreading all of a sudden seems to be that NASA recently discovered the new, 13th constellation, known as Ophiuchus, and is suggesting that now all of the Zodiac signs are shifting by 9 days, changing 86% of people's horoscopes.

Hence the panic.

Since this mass miscommunication, however, NASA has made it very clear that they study astronomy, not astrology, and that astrology is not science.

They even point out on their website that when astrology was first created 3,000 years ago, the Babylonians who came up with it were fully aware of this 13th constellation but simply chose not to include it in astrology, as it made more sense to have 12 signs that could be split evenly throughout their 12 month year.

Yeah, I'll be honest, I was pretty confused as well.

I have never been someone who has studied astrology in depth, but rather I simply choose to follow my horoscope when it's convenient for me to read and, let's be honest, says something that I want to believe.

After all of this drama about new signs however, I did a little research in order to understand the craziness about NASA and astrology and astronomy.

I am by no means an expert, but here is what I have discovered.

Western Astrology, which is what is widely recognized and used by Americans today, follows a 12 sign Tropical Zodiac. When the Babylonians created this system thousands of years ago, they divided the calendar into twelve sections which loosely aligned with the positioning of twelve established constellations.

I was born on March 16th, for example, which makes me a Pisces. This means that on the date of my birth, the sun and the earth were directly in line with the constellation of Pisces.

The drawing below from NASA gives the example of what it looks like when the sun is in line with the constellation of Leo.

The point that NASA has been making for a long time (aka this isn't recently discovered news) is that the sky we see from Earth has shifted over the last 3,000 years.

Why is this? Because the Earth's axis (the north pole) is not pointing at exactly the same spot as it used to. Every 72 years, the positioning shifts by one degree as the Earth's axis wobbles.

This is known as precession, and it was actually discovered in 127 BC by Hipparchus. So this isn't a brand new revelation by any means.

In addition to this shifting, however, NASA has stated that there is a constellation named Ophiuchus. However, this isn't new and it doesn't change anything about Western Astrology.

So why is everyone freaking out right now?

Well... we're not exactly sure.

There was confusion and panic over this same issue back in 2011. The Huffington Post wrote an article eerily similar to the reports that have been blowing up over the last few days.

Then and now, however, there is absolutely no change to the Tropical Zodiac.

A popular astrologer Susan Miller called the news back in 2011 "ridiculous." In an interview with ABC News, she said, "We've known about this for ages. The constellations don't suggest what's coming up, it's the planets! The constellations are [simply] a measuring device."

Still confused?

Basically, there are all sorts of constellations in the sky. The Tropical Zodiac, however, is based on the Earth's alignment with only certain signs... aka the 12 constellations that we were all already familiar with.

In addition to this, to further reassure you, Western astrologers included the wobble of the Earth's axis in their calculations centuries ago. It is not a new phenomenon and it does not alter the way that astrology is practiced or interpreted.

So this "new" constellation and this "new" information about the Earth's axis shifting (both of which are not, in fact, NEW) does not change a thing.

Say it with me people... the Tropical Zodiac is not changing.

So, to recap. Your horoscope has not changed.

Astrologers and astronomers alike have known about the constellation Ophiuchus and the shifting of the Earth's axis for thousands of years. There are still, and always will be, only twelve signs in the Tropical Zodiac.

That's right, there is absolutely no reason to panic.

To everyone who proudly has a Sagittarius sign tattooed on your ankle: RELAX. You're still a Sagittarius.

And to everyone who was born between November 29th and December 17th who have spent the last few days freaking out because they are now a new sign that they have never heard of - your sign did not change.

Continue on with your life and your beliefs as you previously did.

I for one will continue to believe all the positive aspects of astrology that make me happy to be a Pisces and ignoring any bad predictions that I read about. Because hey, that's what horoscopes are for, am I right?

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