Many have expressed concern over the alleged alterations of zodiac signs made by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Apparently, the agency introduced a 13th zodiac sign and changed the dates for the other 12 signs.
The rumor was reported by Cosmopolitan UK. The new sign is called Ophiuchus. This story then got picked up by other news sites.
However, the story turned out to be false. The space agency did not change any zodiac signs and they did not introduce the Ophiuchus.
“We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math,” NASA spokesperson Dwayne Brown told Gizmodo in an email. “The Space Place article was about how astrology is not astronomy, how it was a relic of ancient history, and pointed out the science and math that did come from observations of the night sky.”
A website created by the space agency named Space Place provides us with detailed explanation as to how astrology is not astronomy. This point is emphasized by a little cartoon man on the site.
As explained in Space Place, astrology is not science and has not been proven to forecast any future event or describe our personalities based on our date of birth. Astronomy, on the other hand, is real science and astronomers know that stars located far away have no effect on any of our mundane activities here on Earth.
The astrological signs were created by Babylonians 3,000 years ago. The extinct civilization believed that there were 13 zodiac signs overall. In other cultures, however, 24 zodiac signs are recognized.
During this time, astronomers did not fully understand our universe. They assumed that these constellations and other cosmic objects tell them stories of their gods and other myths.
Nevertheless, NASA does not discount the entertainment of our daily astrological forecast, popularly known as horoscope. Scientists understand that many people enjoy reading these stories as they would reading fantasy tales.