If A105: Stars and Galaxies taught me one thing, it was that astronomy and astrology are two very different things.
Astrology is a collection of ancient superstitions that isn’t tested by observation or scientific experiment. In other words, astrology is a complete sham. That being said, most people know their zodiac sign.
In NASA’s Tumblr post, “A Long History of Looking to the Stars,” it explained that since the Babylonians used a 12-month calendar, they divided the zodiac into 12 equal pizza slices.
The Babylonians ignored the small detail that there were actually 13 constellations in the zodiac and thus reinforced the fact that 13 is simply not a pretty number.
Logically, the Babylonians chose to swipe left on the constellation with the ugliest name, Ophiuchus.
Not logically, Cosmopolitan magazine took one look at the blog post and said “everything you’ve ever known is a lie, etc., etc.” After all, what NASA says goes. An article was published saying NASA officially changed the dates assigned to zodiac signs.
According to Cosmopolitan, the rejected constellation Ophiuchus was now “back in the game.” Hilarity ensued.
The internet did not take this news well. Neither did those who had just sauntered home from the tattoo parlor with a freshly inked lion on their buttocks only to find they weren’t a Leo anymore. Yes, that actually happened.
Identity crises proceeded, and many reported feeling lost or confused without their original zodiac sign. The rumor that 86 percent of us wouldn’t be the star sign we thought we were our whole life had officially gone viral.
I’m not big on astrology. I know I’m an Aries, but that’s about it. The phrase “Mercury is in retrograde” reminds me of the third grade when mercury thermometers were recalled.
I read my horoscope whenever I get to the last page of a magazine. This happens about three times a year, and I’m usually on an airplane.
Although I don’t know how to fish and am not a very good swimmer, I wouldn’t be too aggravated if I suddenly became a Pisces. Alas, I won’t have to worry about strapping on my life vest any time soon.
Laurie Cantillo of the planetary exploration department of NASA said to BBC, “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.”
According to Teen Vogue, modern astrologists operate on their own manifesto of bullshit called the tropical zodiac, which is based on the earth’s position to the stars and not the actual positions of the stars.
Looking back on Twitter, I found a bevy of astrology fanatics complaining their sign had changed in 2014. In a way, this minor freak-out is old news.
After all, we should know NASA is not in the future-telling business. If they were, we’d have probably packed our bags for space by now.