Fact Check: NASA Debunks Claims of New Zodiac Sign and Constellation Discovery

Introduction Have you heard the rumors about NASA announcing a 13th zodiac sign and the discovery of a new constellation? Well, I hate to burst your astrological bubble, but it turns out that these claims...

Introduction

Have you heard the rumors about NASA announcing a 13th zodiac sign and the discovery of a new constellation? Well, I hate to burst your astrological bubble, but it turns out that these claims are far from the truth. In this fact-checking article, we'll delve into the details and separate fact from fiction.

The Claim: NASA's Supposed 13th Zodiac Sign

Recently, a post on Facebook created quite a buzz with claims that NASA had announced a new star sign, causing chaos in the astrological world. The post included a chart with revised dates for the 12 well-known zodiac signs, along with the addition of a 13th sign called Ophiuchus. However, this claim is not supported by NASA.

No New Constellation, NASA Clarifies

It's important to note that shifts in astrological paradigms have been occurring since 2011. Astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society discovered that the alignment of the stars had changed due to the moon's gravitational pull on Earth. This resulted in the sun pointing to different parts of the zodiac at different times. The revised zodiac calendar proposed by the society did not sit well with astrologers.

In January 2016, NASA published an educational blog for children that updated the alignment of the constellations. They explained the history behind the zodiac signs and clarified that a 13th zodiac sign had always existed, but it had never been officially acknowledged. However, this update was misinterpreted by some media outlets, causing unnecessary panic among astrology enthusiasts.

To dispel the rumors, NASA took to its official Tumblr to reassure everyone that their focus is on astronomy, not astrology. They clarified that they had not changed any zodiac signs; they simply did the math. Therefore, the claims of a new constellation and a 13th zodiac sign are unfounded.

Ophiuchus is not a new constellation but one that has gone unacknowledged for thousands of years. Image: Ophiuchus is not a new constellation but one that has gone unacknowledged for thousands of years.

Understanding the Zodiac and Constellations

For those who are unfamiliar with the relationship between stars and astrological signs, let's shed some light on the subject. The connection between the two stems from early astronomy.

Human beings have been observing the night sky and attributing significance to the movement of celestial bodies for thousands of years. Ancient astronomers noticed that certain collections of stars appeared in the night sky during specific periods. These groups of stars, known as constellations, were visible due to Earth's planetary movement around the sun.

NASA provides a simple analogy to explain this phenomenon. Imagine drawing a straight line from Earth through the sun and extending it into space where the stars reside. As Earth orbits the sun, this imaginary line rotates, pointing to different stars throughout the year. The stars near this line's path are said to be part of the zodiac.

The Babylonians, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts, much like slicing a pizza. They selected 12 constellations, assigning each to one of these slices. While they were aware of 13 constellations, they deliberately excluded Ophiuchus, aligning their zodiac with their 12-month lunar calendar.

False Claims: The Verdict

Based on our research, we rate the claim that NASA announced a 13th zodiac sign and a new constellation as FALSE. The addition of Ophiuchus is not a recent development by NASA but rather an inclusion of what the Babylonians left out thousands of years ago. So rest assured, your zodiac sign remains the same as it has always been.

Our Fact-Check Sources:

  • Time, "Where Do Zodiac Signs Come From? Here's the True History Behind Your Horoscope"
  • NASA Official Tumblr, "Did you recently hear that NASA changed the zodiac signs? Nope, we definitely didn't..."
  • The New Yorker, "How Astrology Evolved, From Mesopotamia to Instagram"
  • Time, "NASA Elegantly Shuts Down Those New Zodiac Star Theories"
  • Time, "NASA Has No Time for Your Astrology Nonsense"
  • Los Angeles Times, "New astrological sign: Professor finds horoscopes may be a little off-kilter"
  • Cosmopolitan UK, "Don't freak out, but your star sign may have changed"
  • Business Insider, "Archaeologists figured out that some of the world's oldest cave drawings don't just depict animals — they're constellations of stars"
  • Space.com, "Spotted! A Rarely Seen Constellation Shines This Summer"
  • Check Your Fact, "Fact Check: Did NASA Announce A 13th Zodiac Sign?"

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Image Image Caption: Image source showcasing the unfounded claims of a new zodiac sign and constellation.

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