January 13th, 2011


That's Capricorn, is it?

I've seen a lot of people tweeblogposting about their zodiacal signs changing. Seems to be related to this story stating that "Astronomers have restored the original Babylonian zodiac by recalculating the dates that correspond with each sign to accommodate millennia of subtle shifts in the Earth's axis."

I hate to break it to you, kids, but this precession of the earth's axis has been known about since at least the 2rd century BCE. Clever dude named Hipparchus made a pretty good measurement of it at the time, even. Ditto for Ptolemy, who literally compared his data with records from Babylon to perform pretty much the same calculation being breathlessly reported in the news today. For centuries, smart-ass astronomers have been pointing this out to astrologers, and for the most part, they just don't care.