Whether you believe in them or not, Zodiac signs are big business. Despite being debunked many times over, millions around the world subscribe to the idea that their personality and personal interactions are dictated by the stars. So, when there are claims that NASA has shifted the goal posts and added a 13th star sign to the equation, it feels like a big deal.
Numerous outlets have reported in recent days that the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, aka NASA, has added a 13th star sign, Ophiuchus, shifting dates and making Tauruses into Aries and Cancers into Geminis and all sorts of mayhem.
The reports claim NASA recently discovered Ophiuchus, which sits between Sagittarius and Scorpius. They all fail to mention this story has appeared in the news cycle multiple times over the years since the blog was last updated in 2016 — four years ago.
As if 2020 couldn’t get anymore odd NASA discovered a new star sign which means I am now a Leo and not a Virgo pic.twitter.com/h8Eco4Ne3Z
— . (@HallucinNate) July 14, 2020
NASA’s post, intended to explain astrology for children, outlines it was the Babylonians, an ancient society existing around 3,000 years ago, that first formulated the star signs we continue to use today.
But even then, the ancient society made arbitrary decisions undermining the whole concept.
“According to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac,” NASA’s 2016 blog read.
“The Babylonians picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one.”
The issue was that this 12-month calendar, called the lunisolar and based off the moon’s phases, didn’t perfectly line up with the Sun’s movements through 13 constellations.
“To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time,” the post continued.
“Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.”
So, NASA made no new discovery to do with star signs, it just highlighted an important historical fact to do with a non-scientific pastime.
If we add Ophiuchus, what star sign does that make me?
Now that the origin of the 13th Zodiac sign has been sorted, you’re probably wondering what it means. Astrology, of course, is not a science but technically, this shifts the date cut offs assigned to each star sign.
If you were to suddenly add Ophiuchus into the equation, the new Zodiac sign dates would be as follows instead:
- Ophiuchus: 29 November — 17 December
- Sagittarius: 17 December — 20 January
- Capricorn: 20 January – 16 February
- Aquarius: 16 February — 11 March
- Pisces: 11 March — 18 April
- Aries: 18 April — 13 May
- Taurus: 13 May — 21 June
- Gemini: 21 June — 20 July
- Cancer: 20 July — 10 August
- Leo: 10 August — 16 September
- Virgo: 16 September — 30 October
- Libra: 30 October — 23 November
- Scorpio: 23 November — 29 November
Does it mean your life as a stubborn Taurus has all been a lie? Probably not but now you can attribute your behaviour to another star sign.