Current sky map astrology

People had already imagined that the constellations might be important symbols, telling stories of their gods and other myths. It was not a big step to suppose that the changing positions of the constellations at different times of the year might be important to people and events on Earth. The Babylonians lived over 3, years ago.

They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts--like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 "slices. Since the Babylonians already had a month calendar based on the phases of the Moon , each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself.

But even according to the Babylonians' own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. Other cultures and traditions have recognized as many as 24 constellations in the zodiac.

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Constellations and the Calendar

So the Babylonians picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn't fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one. When the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of zodiac, a birthday between about July 23 and August 22 meant being born under the constellation Leo. Now, 3, years later, the sky has shifted because Earth's axis North Pole doesn't point in quite the same direction.

Now Mimi's August 4 birthday would mean she was born "under the sign" of Cancer one constellation "earlier" , not Leo. The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the Sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one.

The line from Earth through the Sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days. To make a tidy match with their month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time. Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.

A long history of looking to the stars

Some people believe, or make-believe, that the current sign of the zodiac affects how things go in their everyday lives, depending on the sign of their birth. This idea is called astrology , and people who claim to use the signs of the zodiac to make predictions are called astrologers. Mimi's birthday is August 4.


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When she says, "I'm a Leo," she means that on her birthday, the imaginary line from Earth, through the Sun, and out into space on the other side of the Sun points to the constellation Leo. The trouble is, it doesn't! Read this article and find out why. Constellations and the Calendar. What's Your Sign? We acknowledge with thanks the comet observations from the COBS Comet Observation Database contributed by observers worldwide and used in this table to report recent comet observations.

Astronomy vs astrology

These are the top 10 brightest asteroids visible tonight. Click on each line to go to the asteroids's detail page, or click the blue 'full screen' icon to view an accurate deep sky chart showing the asteroids's current position in real time. Also check the full list of tracked asteroids and dward planets This is a list of the currently active meteor showers. The celestial coordinates refer to the meteor shower radiant position, i. This number is an estimate, the actual number an observer could see depends on the actual intensity of the shower which can be highly variable and on the actual sky conditions.

Clicking on the blue square icon will bring you to a sky map showing the radiant position.

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Planets Visible in Austin

Aquarius Aqr. Auriga Aur. Perseus Per. Triangulum Tri. Canis Majoris CMa.

Pisces Psc. Scutum Sct. Chamaleon Cha. Lynx Lyn.

Grus Gru. Sagittarius Sgr.