Despite what you may have heard, NASA isn’t ruining your life.
Now, don’t freak out, but it turns out there are actually 13 astrological signs instead of 12. So 86 percent of all people were actually born under a different sign.
While that’s unfortunate for people with zodiac tattoos, it’s not actually a new development.
The information apparently comes from a post from January on NASA’s SpacePlace website aimed at kids, which explains the difference between astrology and astronomy.
It led to false reports that NASA had decided to update everyone’s star signs based on the changing positions of constellations.
But the thing is, NASA doesn’t decide on star signs and has little interest in astrology because it isn’t science.
“We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math,” the agency said in a Tumblr post on Tuesday.
So here’s what happened, according to NASA:
About 3,000 years ago, the Babylonians divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts and picked one constellation for each. So as Earth orbits the sun, the sun would appear to pass through each of the 12 parts.
The Babylonians had a 12-month calendar, so each month was supposed to get its own slice of the zodiac.
Here’s where NASA says the Babylonians cheated a bit. According to the Babylonian’s own ancient stories, there were actually 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they left out one, Ophiuchus, to fit with their calendar.
On top of that, the sun didn’t move through each constellation to fit neatly into a month-long slice.
Furthermore, the sky has shifted slightly after 3,000 years because the North Pole doesn’t point in the same direction.
In the end, as the original SpacePlace post points out, the idea that astrology can affect your life or predict your personality traits is just make-believe. If you really feel like a Scorpio, then say you’re a Scorpio. NASA couldn’t care less.
But just in case you’re curious, here’s what your star sign would be under the 13-sign chart:
Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11 – April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan 20