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13th astrological sign added, new zodiac astrology signs
So you are a Scorpio, or Leo, or any one of the 12 zodiac signs, and have thought so all your life based on your birthdate. Well, we have news for you. You may not be what you think.
A 13th constellation -- Ophiuchus (Ooh-fee-yew-kus) -- Greek for "serpent-bearer" is being widely regarded as a new zodiac sign.
This sign spans from Nov 30 to Dec 17, and it alters the dates of other zodiac signs in the 12-month year.
In a report last Sunday which provoked lively discussions and debate on social networking sites, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune quoted Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle as saying that the moon's gravitational pull has made the Earth "wobble" around its axis which shifts the stars' alignment by about a month.
But for astronomers, this is not new.
"Ophiuchus is not a new constellation. It has been there for thousands of years. The sun actually passes through 13 constellations, not just 12 in the traditional zodiac list.
"It is just that the ancients who discovered the constellations left out one constellation to fit the months in the calendar," said Universiti Sains Malaysia Astronomy and Atmospheric Science Research Unit lecturer and astronomy club adviser Associate Prof Dr Chong Hon Yew.
Chong said the "wobble" of the axis was known as "the precession of equinoxes".
"The 12 zodiac signs were created thousands of years ago. People born under the Ophiuchus sign were put under Scorpio or Sagittarius. Since then, there have shifts on the Earth's axis causing some days of Ophiuchus' neighbouring months to be squeezed out."
With the inclusion of Ophiuchus, the number of days under the Scorpio sign will be reduced to six from Nov 24 to 29.
Dr Chong, who is also adviser to USM's Astronomy Club said whenever the club held astronomy talks in schools and malls, they would talk about the 13th constellation.
"Most people are shocked. In fact, if you download any free planetarium software from the Internet, you may find that your date of birth this year falls under a different sign. This is because of the precession."
The news has caused a "wobble in the axis" of cyberspace, some say of "tsunamic" proportions.
On Twitter, the news caused strong reactions from people deeply attached to their star signs. Some of them were:
@HarryPotterish: First we were told that Pluto is not a planet, now theres a new zodiac sign Ophiuchus My childhood was a bloody lie!
@ Veni_K: Omg... last nite I went to bed as an Aquarius, I woke up today and I'm a Capricorn. What?!! #Ophiuchus has changed all Zodiacs :(
@ geezi : Damn you #Ophiuchus. I was born a Virgo. I will die a Virgo!
@LilMickyDoubleU: there's a new sign called #Ophiuchus. That sounds like it could be an STD, a Greek God, or Oprah's scientific name.
@jetsetmar Marlene H: I refuse to accept Aries as my new zodiac sign. I will always be a Taurus! The hell with you #Ophiuchus.
In astronomy and astrology, the zodiac is a zone extending eight or nine degrees on either side of the ecliptic, containing the apparent path of the Sun, Moon, and visible planets across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. It is so far believed to be divided into 12 equal parts of celestial longitude called signs, such that the sun spends a month in each sign per year.
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