Horoscope Hang-Up: Earth Rotation Changes Zodiac Signs

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If you’re the type of person who relies on mysterious-sounding locations of stars to determine your personality and outcome in life, get ready to be shocked.

The field of astrology, which is concerned with horoscopes and the like, felt a major disruption from astronomers, who are concerned with actual stars and planets. The astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found that because of the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars was pushed by about a month.

(More on TIME.com: See if your horoscope will change with the “new” Zodiac model.)

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” noted Parke Kunkle, a member of the group’s board. Your astrological sign is determined by the position of the sun on the day you were born, so that means everything you thought you knew about your horoscope is wrong.

It turns out that astrology has had issues from its inception. (Aside from the fact that it tries to link personality traits with positions of the stars.) Ancient Babylonians had 13 constellations, but wanted only 12, so threw out Ophuchicus, the snake holder. Libra didn’t even enter the picture until the era of Julius Caesar.

(More on TIME.com: See the most surprising pictures of 2010.)

According to the Minnesota Planetarium Society, here is where the real signs of the Zodiac should fall. Get ready for your world to change forever.

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. 23-29.
Ophiuchus:
Nov. 29-Dec. 17.  (Yep, this one is new — read all about the Ophiuchus way of life here)
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

(More on NewsFeed: See the counterpoint from American astrologers)

26 comments
TerrySackett
TerrySackett

I can keep being an archer.  That's good.  I like archery, and my bows and arrows were expensive!

Mr.Kortz
Mr.Kortz

The zodiac signs are determined by the static segment of the sky that the sun is in at the time of birth.  That being, 6 divisions from north to south, from the tropic of cancer to the tropic of capricorn, that change from winter/spring to summer/fall. They have not now, nor have ever, had any bearing on actual constellations. They only bear names of certain constellations due to each constellations' proximity to the segment of the sky it may appear in.

Furthermore, we have 12 signs and will always only have 12 signs, corresponding to 12 sky segments, because they are based on the number of lunar cycles in an average year and are marked by the solstices and equinoxes.

The position of the sun in the sky is the one and only determining factor of what your sun and rising signs are.  Your sun sign is determined by the north-south position of the sun (time of year), and the rising sign, by eat-west position of the sun (time of day).

DorkusAmericanus
DorkusAmericanus

Oh boy I'm a Gemini now! Woo hoo! I always hated being a Cancer anyway. *changes entire personality*

LenFeder
LenFeder

You don't know what you're talking about.  Astrology signs do not correspond with constellations.  They are determined differently.  Do your homework before shooting off your mouth.  Sun signs correspond to the seasons.  The first point of Aries is the first day of spring north of the equator, and so on.  This was such a stupid article.  Constellations don't mean a damn thing.  You think the stars of the Big Dipper know they are in the Big Dipper?  You think the stars in so-called Sagittarius really have anything to do with each other?  Constellations are fiction.  They mean exactly nothing.

GaylenAllenAnderson
GaylenAllenAnderson

This article proves that we are in the latter days.  We are not who we seem to be and Megan points this out loud and clear not being an astrologer apparently but she must have read that book and now it's her mission to set everyone straight. 

AnnaBrindhag
AnnaBrindhag

hey ..i am new here and hope is it a good sait !!! mutch love Anna =)

LaurieFarrington
LaurieFarrington

This tired old argument against astrology goes around every few years. The signs were named after the fixed star constellations which have moved over time. Astrologers have always accounted for this movement. The signs of the tropical zodiac, which starts at the Vernal Equinox with 0° Aries, are not the same as the fixed star constellations which carry the same names.
The signs are sections of the ecliptic circle, 30 degrees each. They serve as an abbreviated measurement system for ecliptic longitude relative to the true equinox of date. Instead of saying 'Saturn is at 123 degrees' we say 'Saturn is at 3 degrees of the 5th zodiac section'. Because the 5th zodiac section is named 'Leo', we say Saturn is at 3 Leo. We mean ecliptic longitude relative to the Equinox, so this is NOT the fixed star constellation Leo.
The fixed star constellations are irregular patches of stars on the sky. 2000 years ago those areas coincided roughly with the zodiac sections, and that is where they got their names from. The fixed star constellations are not used for measuring coordinates of objects on the sky.
Due to the effect of lunisolar precession, the ecliptic circle has since shifted versus the fixed star background, and continues to shift by 1° every 72 years.
Astronomers confuse people by pretending to not being aware of the difference between fixed star constellations and the reference frame of the tropical ecliptic coordinate system. In fact, astronomy uses the very same ecliptic coordinate system as astrology does. Also astronomers give the position of objects in the ecliptic by measuring the longitude from the Equinox. In attempting to discredit astrology and astrologers all they manage is to confuse of the general public. Here is an article that explains it in depth. http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_praezession_e.htm

ioreoea
ioreoea

    This article fails to mention Vedic Astrology which is based on the sidereal positions ( i.e. ACTUAL positions of the stars) and is actually the most popular form of astrology in the WORLD and has a DEEP and long history, which has been bastardized along with western astrology in modern times. In fact ancient Indian astronomers have  had knowledge of the earth moving around the Sun THOUSANDS of years before the west did, though this knowledge has been suppressed through anglicized British interpretations of history with no real knowledge of Vedic culture.

      The western system is based on the TROPICAL zodiac which is aligned to the solstices and is using a different system which is a whole other story. If you are basing your opinions about astrology on newspaper columns or just your opinion you need to do your homework. I thought the times was a little more studied than this. Come on people! Can I write for you? You can read a nice reflection from winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for why astrology should be looked at as a science here :


 http://www.crawfordperspectives.com/documents/IAMACAPRICORN_000.pdf

penmeetspaper1
penmeetspaper1

The dates that end one sign start the next sign.  So are you two signs if your birthday falls on that date? lol

n.wilson.22.6.8
n.wilson.22.6.8

I'm pretty sure that if you add Ophiuchus you have to get rid of Sagittarius. If you look at google sky maps the sun now passes thru Ophiuchus, but no longer passes through Sagittarius....bet you didn't notice that now did you?

HAMBLOK_
HAMBLOK_

to bad i was born on April 6th and I loved Aries but now I'm actually Pisces. who wants to be fish? :(

ThomasWargo
ThomasWargo

This ARTICLE IS JUST PLAIN STUPID, written by a moron who knows NOTHING about Astrology.  This is CRAP.  Hire an astrologer to write about it.  I could explain about the tropical zodiac, the sidereal one, the difference between tropical signs and constellations ETC ETC ETC. BUT it is up to the publisher to determine if his writers are FULL OF SH1T.

LaurenceAvyelNadeli
LaurenceAvyelNadeli

@LaurieFarringtonWtf does it matter? Astrology is bull**** left over from ancient times when we didn't understand psychology. Your attitude, your feelings, your personality....these have NOTHING to do with the position of planets or stars or constellations or any of that. If you think otherwise, then you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

GaylenAllenAnderson
GaylenAllenAnderson

@penmeetspaper1 Strangely enough I am the alpha and omega so to speak.  My Bday is 3/20/51 11:11 pm longitude 123 latitude 45 degrees almost to the minute when the sun was entering Aries the first sign of the zodiac.  Before I knew anything about astrology I really related to Spock on Star Trek.  I was always at odds with myself, but that could be said for Pisces by itself also. 

Of course when I send off for my horoscope to various companies, half of them will label me as a Pisces and the other half as an Aries.  I guess it would be too much work or they would have to charge at least double for this complication.

penmeetspaper1
penmeetspaper1

@ThomasWargo I think the face that the end date for one sign, is the beginning date of the next one is a good clue that this article has little credibility.  You really don't need to go much farther than that.

bretel
bretel

@ThomasWargo astrology is retarded, do you really believe that a persons entire personality and everything they are is decided on what day a persons parents conceived them? astrology is just a form of cold reading a persons mind, leaving a description of a persons personality that is so broad it describes everyone on the planet and some time or another. 

ThomasWargo
ThomasWargo

@bretel @ThomasWargo You also know nothing about Astrology.  Conception date???  You know nothing!!  On this subject you know SH!T!!!!  Shut your stupid mouth!!!!  You aren't bright enough to recognize your own ignorance!