Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, July 16
Reports of NASA changing everyone's starsigns has left believers of astrology in a state of panic. While these refer to a NASA blog post from 2016, a rash of stories on the subject has surfaced on the Net over the past couple of days, triggering discussions and debates.
The NASA blog claims that there are 13 zodiac signs, not 12. The extra sign—known as Ophiuchus—is supposedly the horoscope for those born between November 19 and December 17.
As a constellation Ophiuchus is a snake bearer, and he is said to have been the first doctor. If Ophiuchus was in use as an official star sign, it would change the dates for horoscopes for the rest of the year.
This means some people might find their birthday fell under a different sign.
What is my star sign?
Ophiuchus is not an official sign of the zodiac, so your star sign has not changed.
However, if it were included, these would be the dates:
|Capricorn||January 20 to February 16|
|Aquarius||February 16 to March 11|
|Pisces||March 11 to April 18|
|Aries||April 18 to May 13|
|Taurus||May 13 to June 21|
|Gemini||June 21 to July 20|
|Cancer||July 20 to August 10|
|Leo||August 10 to September 16|
|Virgo||September 16 to October 30|
|Libra||October 30 to November 23|
|Scorpio||November 23 to November 29|
|Ophiuchus||November 29 to December 17|
|Sagittarius||December 17 to January 20|
In the 2016 blog post, NASA explained how the ancient Babylonians divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts, choosing one constellation for each.
But there were actually 13 constellations in the zodiac, so they chose one—Ophiuchus—to leave out.
Several articles claimed that Nasa "created" Ophiuchus, but it was and is a constellation that was in the sky when the current system of the zodiac was made, and all Nasa did was point that out, said an Independent report.
People can stick with their existing starsign, or opt to use their supposedly newly calculated one – the only thing that really matters is that the astrologers who then use those starsigns are using the same system.
If everyone switched to the more contemporary system – of 13 starsigns and different dates – then it could feasibly be said that people have been given a new starsign.
But that does not appear to be happening.
But it is not in Nasa's power to change the starsigns, even if it wanted to. And it almost certainly doesn't want to: the space agency has been disparaging of astrology, even in the same post that appears to have led to the current furore, according to the Independent.
"It's not science," the post reads, as it discusses how astrology is different from astronomy.
"No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birthdate. Still, like reading fantasy stories, many people enjoy reading their 'astrological forecast' or 'horoscope' in the newspaper every day."
That post has been on Nasa's website for years, and was part of a page intended to educate children on the difference between astronomy and astrology.
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