Zodiac now 13-strong as Ophiuchus signs in


THINK YOU’RE a Pisces? Think again, because the star sign you thought was yours may be incorrect. That’s according to an astronomer who has discovered there are 13, not 12, zodiac signs.

The internet exploded last week when Parke Kunkle discussed the newest sign, Ophiuchus, in an interview with American broadcaster NBC, propelling the topic to “trending” status on twitter for several days.

Kunkle, a professor in the Minnesota Community and Technical College, talked about how a wobble in the Earth’s axis had caused a change in star constellations. As a result, there is a new sign, Ophiuchus – better known as the serpent holder – that wasn’t present 3,000 years ago when Babylonians introduced zodiac.

Prof Luke Drury, head of the astronomy and astrophysics section of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, explained the process, known as “precession”.

“If you think of the Earth as a wobbling or spinning top that is not quite vertical, the spin top moves around in a shape a bit like a cone. The Earth spins exactly the same way,” he said.

“Astronomers have known about this for a very long time. It has been one of the constant criticisms of astrology, which isn’t a science and doesn’t allow for it.”

While the sign many people were born under may change, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to remove that scorpion tattoo just yet: some astrologers, particularly in the western world, use a system that is Earth, not star, based.

The new zodiac dates are: Capricorn: Jan 20th - Feb 16th. Aquarius: Feb 16th - March 11th. Pisces: March 11th - April 18th. Aries: April 18th - May 13th. Taurus: May 13th - June 21st. Gemini: June 21st - July 20th. Cancer: July 20th - Aug 10th.

Leo: Aug 10th - Sept 16th.

Virgo: Sept 16th - Oct 30th.

Libra: Oct 30th - Nov 23rd. Scorpio: Nov 23rd - Nov 29th. Ophiuchus: Nov 29th - Dec 17th. Sagittarius: Dec 17th - Jan 20th.