Suzanne Ciechalski

NASA: No, We Didn’t Change the Zodiac Signs

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

NBC News

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If the stars suddenly seem to be out of alignment, you don't need to consult a horoscope to find out what happened — there's a rumor going around that NASA changed the zodiac.

But while some news outlets are saying that NASA found a 13th constellation that shifts the dates of the 12 other signs, the space agency offered a fact check: it didn't change any zodiac signs, it was just doing math on how the ancient Babylonians measured the sky.

The article that shook the stars, which surfaced in The Washington Post, among many other places, was a blog post in January that resurfaced last week.

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It said a girl who was born on August 4 was actually born "under the sign" of Cancer, not Leo, because the sun moves through 13 constellations — not 12 — and spends varying amounts of time lining up with each one. Cancer is overhead on August 4, not Leo, despite what you'd see in an astrology chart, which divides the sky up evenly.

The agency also noted that the Earth's axis doesn't point in the same direction as it did when the orignal constellations were drawn, shifting dates around.

But as NASA posted on its Tumblr page, "Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math."

The findings don't mean people have different star signs now, NASA argues, it was just pointing out that the system that the Babylonians developed don't actually correspond with real constellations.

With perhaps a lack of sympathy for people who believe in astrology, and maybe a hint of Leo about them (it was founded on July 29, after all), NASA noted that astrology is not science, so their finding doesn't change anything at all: "No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based on their birth dates."

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