Friday, 14 January 2011

Everything Was a Lie! Astronomer Parke Kunkle Says Star Signs Out of Date

Wobble of the Earth
Astronomer says star signs out of date
Zodiac created more than 2000 years ago
Earth's "wobble" means constellations seen differently.If you're a regular follower of astrology you should know that your horoscope could well be 2000 years out of date.
The star signs we are used to are based on constellations observed by the ancient Babylonians two millennia ago.
Astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society have found that the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth changed our planet's position in relation to its axis, making the original alignment of the stars, the basis for the zodiac signs, "off" by about a month. Thus, a thirteenth zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, was added to the original 12.
The debate has created a storm on the internet after Minnesota Planetarium Society board member Professor Parke Kunkle pointed out the potential problem.
"When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it's really not in Pisces," he said.
Professor Kunkle says the phenomenon is the result of something called “precession” caused by the wobble of the Earth affecting how we see the distinctive patterns in the night sky.
Sydney University’s Professor Tim Bedding said the Earth rotates on its axis but the axis does not point in the same direction all the time.
“What that means is that the time of year in which a sun passes through a constellation changes,” Professor Bedding said.
This action causes a change of one degree every 70 years in our viewpoint and while this is so small it is hardly noticeable after 2000 years it all starts to add up, he said.
We now see the star signs in different positions to when they were first observed.

Astrologist: Changes only apply to one type of zodiac

However, astrologer Jeff Jawer said in an interview with CNN that astrology fans need not worry because there are actually two types of zodiacs: the tropical zodiac, which Western astrology adheres to and is fixed to seasons; and the sidereal zodiac, which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East.

The "changes", he said, apply to the sidereal zodiac.

Jawer added that the alignments with constellations indeed changed compared to years ago, but this change is irrelevant for the tropical zodiac, which was codified for Western astrology by Ptolemy in the second century.

"When we look at the astrology used in the Western World, the seasonally based astrology has not changed [and] was never oriented to the constellations," he said in the CNN interview, adding he personally adheres to the tropical zodiac.

"Astrology is geocentric. It relates life on Earth to the Earth's environment, and seasons are the most dramatic effect, which is why we use the tropical zodiac," he said.

What’s your sign? Check out the revised list when the Sun is actually within the astronomical constellations of the Zodiac below.
Capricorn - Jan 20 to Feb 16
Aquarius - Feb 16 to Mar 11
Pisces - Mar 11 to Apr 18
Aries - Apr 18 to May 13
Taurus - May 13 to Jun 21
Gemini - Jun 21 to Jul 20
Cancer - Jul 20 to Aug 10
Leo - Aug 10 to Sep 16
Virgo - Sep 16 to Oct 30
Libra - Oct 30 to Nov 23
Scorpius - Nov 23 to Nov 29
Ophiuchus - Nov 29 to Dec 17
Sagittarius - Dec 17 to Jan 20

You might have noticed the list above also includes the new sign for people born between November 29 and December 17, Ophiuchus, the snake holder, which was removed from charts by the Babylonians so it would align more accurately with the calendar.

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