The pep talk and horoscope agonies surrounding the so-called new zodiac sign Ophiuchus is unwarranted and misplaced.
First and foremost there is nothing exactly new about Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign - it was revealed and discussed years ago. Second, the whole exercise of looking up to the celestial position to know one' fate is just another anomaly in an otherwise scientific age.
And finally, if you still think stars and their position do matter to what happens in your life, horoscope has got it wrong for you - because you are standing on the surface of a wobbly earth, which has shifted away from the position it was in when the zodiac signs were formulated.
Astrologers have got it horribly wrong with your horoscope!
And then, astronomy, which can explain the position of stars in the sky, and the changes in stellar alignments which take place over thousands of years, can right the wrong.
LiveScience published an article way back in October 2007, which addresses the question of zodiac signs’ accuracy, or the lack of it. The article, which also discusses Ophiuchus as one of the zodiac signs, says zodiac signs of people are in fact different from what they think it is, if it is calculated according to modern constellation boundaries and corrected for precession.
You will most likely find that once precession is taken into account, your zodiac sign is different. And if you were born between November 29 and December 17, your sign is actually one you never saw in the newspaper: you are an Ophiuchus! The eliptic passes through the constellation of Ophiuchus after Scorpius, the article written by Pedro Braganca says.
WOBBLY EARTH AND PRECESSION
The article explains the fallacy surrounding the accuracy of horoscope, saying that a phenomenon called precession has altered the position of the constellations we see today, necessitating changes in the zodiac signs.
Early astronomers observed the Sun traveling through the signs of the Zodiac in the course of one year, spending about a month in each. Thus, they calculated that each constellation extends 30 degrees across the ecliptic.
Wikipedia defines precession as follows: Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotation axis of a rotating body. It can be defined as a change in direction of the rotation axis in which the second Euler angle (nutation) is constant.
In astronomy, precession refers to any of several slow changes in an astronomical body's rotational or orbital parameters, and especially to the Earth's precession of the equinoxes.
Ancient astrologers were unaware of the phenomenon called precession. They didn’t know that earth wobbled around its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble—called precession—is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on Earth's equatorial bulge.
Over the past two-and-a-half millennia, this wobble has caused the intersection point between the celestial equator and the ecliptic to move west along the ecliptic by 36 degrees, or almost exactly one-tenth of the way around. This means that the signs have slipped one-tenth—or almost one whole month—of the way around the sky to the west, relative to the stars beyond.
This means that if a person thought her sign was Aries since she was born between March 21 and April 19, she is wrong. Today, the Sun is no longer within the constellation of Aries during much of that period. From March 11 to April 18, the Sun is actually in the constellation of Pisces!
THE REAL ZODIAC SIGNS
The article gives a list of zodiac signs more consistent with the modern astronomical information.
Capricorn - Jan 20 to Feb 16
Aquarius - Feb 16 to Mar 11
Pisces - Mar 11 to Apr 18
Aries - Apr 18 to May 13
Taurus - May 13 to Jun 21
Gemini - Jun 21 to Jul 20
Cancer - Jul 20 to Aug 10
Leo - Aug 10 to Sep 16
Virgo - Sep 16 to Oct 30
Libra - Oct 30 to Nov 23
Scorpius - Nov 23 to Nov 29
Ophiuchus - Nov 29 to Dec 17
Sagittarius - Dec 17 to Jan 20
The Christian Science Monitor said in an article that a recent Pew research found that 25 percent of Americans still believe in astrology despite the complete lack of scientific and observational evidence for astrology.
No harm in being among those 25 percent - but it would be useful to know your star is actually the other guy's.