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Astronomy Digest

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The Zodiac

It takes one year for the earth to orbit the sun. In 3000 BC if you stood on earth and looked at the sun in relation to the background stars, you would have noticed that the sun would have passed through 12, and only 12 constellations. These 12 constellations are known as the zodiac. If we could see the sun and the constellations at the same time, our sign would be the constellation the sun would be in at the time we were born.

The zodiac signs are based on observations made in 3000 B.C.. However, the earth's axis is slowly rotating. It takes over 25,800 years for the earth's axis to complete one rotation. This is known as the earth's 25,800 wobble. Today if you were to look at the sun in relation to the background stars, you would notice that the sun would not be in the same constellations at the same time of year. Today's zodiac would be different than the ancient zodiac.

Do you know what sign you were really born in? It may be different than you think. Take a look at the chart below to find your real zodiac sign.

Zodiac Sign













Ancient Dates

Jan 20 - Feb 18

Feb 19 - Mar 20

Mar 21 - Apr 19

Apr 20 - May 20

May 21 - Jun 21

Jun 22 - Jul 22

Jul 23 - Aug 22

Aug 23 - Sep 22

Sep 23 - Oct 23

Oct 24 - Nov 21

Nov 22 - Dec 21

Dec 22 - Jan 19
Real Dates

Feb 17 - Mar 11

Mar 12 - Apr 17

Apr 18 - May 13

May 14 - Jun 20

Jun 21 - Jul 19

Jul 20 - Aug 10

Aug 11 - Sep 16

Sep 17 - Oct 31

Nov 1 - Nov 23

Nov 24 - Nov 29

Nov 30 - Dec 18

Dec 19 - Jan 19

Jan 20 - Feb 16

Today there are 13 zodiac signs. Your sign is Ophiuchus if you were born between November 30th and December 18th. Ophiuchus is Greek for "serpent bearer". Oddly enough Ophiuchus fits the definition of Zodiac, "Circle of Animals."

The Zodiac is important to today's amateur astronomers. It marks the changing of the night sky in relation to the change of seasons. From the nebulas in Sagittarius, to the galaxies in Leo. Being able to identify the Zodiac constellations is a great way to learn the night sky.

The Real Zodiac date were calculated by using Red Shift software. Red Shift is a Astronomy simulation software with an excellent star map section.