NASA denies it is changing Zodiacal signs

New York, Sep 19 (IANS) Refuting claims that it is updating the astrological signs, NASA has said that it did not do it as the space agency studies astronomy not astrology.

“We did not change any Zodiac signs, we just did the math. The Space Place (an educational page for kids run by NASA) 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,” NASA spokesperson Dwayne Brown told Gizmodo.

Last week a news spread that 86 per cent of the people now have a different star sign as NASA had decided to update the astrological signs for the first time in 2,000 years.

In NASA’s educational page for children called Space Place, the agency discussed how, some 3,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians were keen sky-watchers and thought that the changing positions of constellations throughout the year could be linked to certain behaviours or events on Earth.

As a result of this, those sky-watchers invented the zodiac.

“So, as Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun would appear to pass through each of the 12 parts of the zodiac. Since the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar (based on the phases of the Moon), each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself,” Science Alert reported on Monday citing the article in Space Place.

But seeing as this happened 3,000 years ago, things were a bit arbitrary, and for whatever reason, the Babylonians left a constellation out of their zodiac — Ophiuchus, the report said.

“Even then, some of the chosen 12 did not fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one,” Space Place noted, adding, “To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12.”

NASA said that due to a tiny wobble in the Earth’s axis, the position of those constellations has shifted. This means that those constellations are no longer in the same spots today as they were when the ancient Babylonians were looking up.

But that has nothing to do with change of zodiac signs.

–IANS

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