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Ophiuchus: The Thirteenth Astrology Sign

Earlier this month, NASA sent countless people into a frenzy when they released new information regarding a thirteenth astrology sign: “Ophiuchus.” 

Ophiuchus is the Latin word for “serpent-bearer.” Ophiuchus, a large but understated constellation, was first discovered by Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd Century (CQ http://www.space.com/21759-ophiuchus.html).

(Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Sidney_Hall_-_Urania’s_Mirror_-_Taurus_Poniatowski,_Serpentarius,_Scutum_Sobiesky,_and_Serpens.jpg)

Even though the constellation touches the sun’s path known as the “elliptic”, astrologers ignored it as part of the Zodiac. Until now!

For those who believe in astrology, people born between November 30th and December 17th can now identify with the new zodiac sign “Ophiuchus.”

The zodiac signs originate from the first half of the 1st millennium BC from Babylonian astronomy. However, the sky has shifted (the Earth’s axis points in a different direction now than it did three millennia ago) since the Babylonians first created the twelve zodiac signs. Want more info? Check out NASA’s explanation here: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder2/en/.

Ophiuchus has always existed; it was just not included in the original zodiac.

Still, many people’s routine horoscope checks and zodiac sign jewelry have lost their meaning. Past believers have begun to question the charts, articles and quiz results that were centered around their zodiac sign.

(Source: https://twitter.com/larisscreighton/status/777219095351664640 @larisscreighton)

Though many people have come to define themselves and their personalities based on their astrological signs, the zodiac is a human creation, constructed by people for other people and an attempt to explain and understand the ancient world.

Since the great online internet backlash of those who are upset by the change, NASA has released a statement (CQ https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/30/nasa-new-zodiac-sign-ophiuchus-astrology-space):

“Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.”

Cayla is a freshman at Emory University studying English and Media Studies. Her hobbies include editing photos of food and going on long walks on the beach. She can usually be found re-organizing her room, promoting gender equality, or talking about her amazing taste in music. You can follow Cayla on her Instragram @caylabam. 
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