Better Double Check Your Zodiac Sign

Astronomer challenges traditional Zodiac signs

Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 5:23 PM EDT
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If you are married to that zodiac sign of yours, well, this may make you want to consider divorce.

If you are married to that zodiac sign of yours, well, this may make you want to consider divorce.

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If you are married to that zodiac sign of yours, well, this may make you want to consider divorce.

Way back when, the ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was in on the day a person was born.

But this was thousands of years ago when the Earth was positioned, in relation to the sun and the stars behind it, in a different place on the rotational axis.

The result: The sign you think you are, and the sign you really are in terms of the constellation the sun is in on your birthday are different.

"Because of this change in the tilt the Earth is over here and the sun is in a different constellation than it was 3000 years ago when this study of the stars began," astronomer Parke Kunkle said in a Star-Tribune article published Sunday.

This is not a "new" thing, says Kunkle.

This alignment shifted a long, long time ago. It's just that the Horoscope world didn't shift with it.

"This is not something that happened today, this has gone on for thousands of years," Kunkle said.

Astrologer Susan Miller says the Star-Tribune article may have whipped up a frenzy this week over nothing.

"In ancient days there were, like, 50 constellations. Then they finally got together and agreed on 18. Then they narrowed it down," Miller told ABC News. I'm getting so many tweets. Trying to explain something technical in 140 characters is hard."

Even with a change of signs, fans of astrology may want to dial down the identity crisis, as LiveScience notes:

Even if the astrological signs were stable, there's no evidence the stars have anything to do with people's day-to-day existence. One 2006 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences used data from more than 15,000 people and found no relationship between date of birth and personality.

Or as one Farker blatantly put it: "Your zodiac sign may have changed. Most likely from 'gullible' to 'sucker.'"

Here is the new list based on the Star-Tribune article:

  • Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
  • Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
  • Pisces: March 11- April 18
  • Aries: April 18- May 13
  • Taurus: May 13- June 21
  • Gemini: June 21- July 20
  • Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
  • Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
  • Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
  • Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
  • Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
  • Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
  • Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

For those Sagittarians and Capricorns still a little shaken up about the new sign, Time has put together a handy getting-to-know-Ophiuchus guide here.

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