Loading...
constellation of stars in space

There is a 13th zodiac sign that is messing up everyone's horoscopes

Whether you believe in them or not, I'm sure we've all skipped to the back packages of a magazine to check our horoscopes on at least one occasion. Even if it's just for fun, there's something strangely appealing about the idea of our fates being dictated by a few balls of burning gas millions of light-years away - and it's by no means a new phenomenon, either. As far back as 5,000 years ago, when Mystic Megs were more likely to be respected astrologers, people were looking to the stars for answers about how they should live their lives.

However, over the last five millennia, the Earth's axis has shifted a little bit, meaning that the stars we see at certain times of the year today will be very different to those seen by the Babylonians or ancient Egyptians. What's more, when the zodiac was originally devised, only twelve constellations were used in order to better fit the cycles of the moon - even though there's actually thirteen. The addition of the extra star sign - a constellation named Ophiuchus - also disrupts the structure of the astrological calendar.

In other words: your horoscope is probably wrong.

constellation of stars in space Credit: Getty Images

Last year, NASA took into account the current positions of the stars in order to calculate what today's zodiac looks like. The list below will let you know what your "new" star sign is...

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 – Nov 29

Ophiuchus: Nov 29 – Dec 17

Sagittarius: Dec 17 – Jan 20

Rather than dividing the signs equally to fit the months, NASA calculated the exact amount of time that each constellation would be in line with the Earth and the sun. So if you were on the cusp of one zodiac symbol before, it's very likely that you've just got yourself a brand new star sign. Exciting.

Speaking on the astrological re-shuffle, Laurie Cantillo of the Planetary Exploration, Heliophysics department told the BBC that, "We didn't change any zodiac signs, we did the math. NASA reported that because the Earth's axis has changed, the constellations are no longer in the same place they were thousands of years ago". The science behind it is legit - even if the interpretation of it is not quite as logical.

Ophiuchus holding a snake Credit: Getty Images

Of course, there is a chance that your star sign hasn't changed at all (which doesn't mean much, other than you don't have to update your Tinder profile with something new), but if you're born between November 29th and December 17th, congratulations - you're an Ophiuchus.

Depicted as a man holding a snake, Ophiuchus has been known about for a long time. The ancient Greeks actually saw him as a representation of Apollo, and the Romans thought of him as a depiction of Asclepius, a healer. His imagery is also used in the modern-day medical symbol, the caduceus, which shows two snakes wrapped around a staff.

Caduceus medial symbol two snakes wrapped round a staff Credit: Wikipedia

But what kind of traits should you exhibit if you're lucky enough to be born under his constellation? Well, according to my (thoroughly unscientific) research across a variety of astrology websites, an Ophiuchus can be anything from spirited, impulsive and flamboyant, to jealous, temperamental and power-hungry. Overall, they don't sound the most friendly characters - but maybe that's just the Sagittarius side of me talking.

After revealing the 'new' zodiac, apparent party-poopers NASA were keen to point out that "Astronomy is the scientific study of everything in outer space," and is therefore very different to astrology, which is obviously a more spiritual practice. On their website, it also says that "Astronomers and other scientists know that stars many light years away have no effect on the ordinary activities of humans on Earth". I think we get the point.

But hey, there's no harm in reading up on them for fun - just don't let it affect your decisions in life.

  • Aug
  • 453 shares
  • Emily Barrett