Stars still aligned: horoscopes the same, experts say

In Journalism on February 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Social media sites were ablaze last week with outraged updates after news reports said the horoscope we knew and loved was all wrong.

“I am not a Cancer!” one outraged Leo wrote online.

This recent astrological discovery is attributed to Parke Kunkle, astronomy professor at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College and board officer at the Minnesota Planetarium Society. In an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kunkle said not only were there actually 13 constellations in the zodiac but also that the dates assigned to each sign were off by about a month.

“I was startled to see it in the news,” said Peter Barnes, assistant scientist of astronomy at UF. “It’s not new at all.”

This isn’t a discovery in the field of astronomy, which is the science that studies celestial bodies.

Nor is it a discovery in the field of astrology, which is the practice of interpreting and predicting information about life based on celestial bodies and their movement.

Astronomers and astrologists acknowledge they have known about these phenomena for some time.

But the primary reason this science doesn’t affect your horoscope is the astrological zodiac is seasonal.

“From the outset, it was clear that the zodiac signs were not meant to be constellations,” said David Cochrane, curriculum director for the Avalon School of Astrology in Gainesville.

According to Cochrane, ancient humans knew about the constellation Ophiuchus, in addition to many other constellations. But, intentionally, they created a system based on 12 signs.

Therefore, the dates of zodiac signs haven’t changed at all. So Capricorn, fear not: You are still the ambitious and responsible character you always were. And Gemini, your talkative duality was never and will never be in question.

This story originally appeared in the Independent Florida Alligator on Thursday, Jan. 27.


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