Ophiuchus - the 13th Zodiac Constellation

We were all familiar with the 12 Zodiac Constellations. Whether we first encountered it in a magazine or newspaper with a horoscope section, or we just heard it from our friends, the 12 Zodiac Constellations are one of the most famous groups of constellations that we know. But did you know that there is a constellation that astronomers consider as the ‘13th Zodiac Constellation’?

Before we talk about the controversial constellation, let us first know what a Zodiac Constellation is. A Zodiac Constellation can be defined as a constellation that can be found in the Ecliptic, an imaginary line where objects from the Solar System passes.

Many astrologers use this as a basis of the horoscope calendar. When someone is born, the Sun will be located at a certain Zodiac Constellation boundary, which becomes that person’s zodiac sign. This can then be a basis of a person’s astrological readings.
Zodiac Constellations in the Ecliptic
If you look at the image above, you would see that the Sun’s address right now (June) is in the Taurus constellation. This would mean that if someone would be born today, or if someone’s birthday is today, their zodiac sign would be Taurus.

Now, let us talk about the 13th Zodiac Constellation being mentioned earlier. As defined, these Zodiac Constellations can be found in the Ecliptic, and among these constellations is Ophiuchus, located between Sagitarrius and Scorpius.
Lunar Eclipse

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As you can see in the image above, a star from this constellation can be found on the other side of the Ecliptic which makes its boundary a part of the Ecliptic. It is for this reason that astronomers consider it as a part of the Zodiac Constellation.

However, astrologers opted not to include Ophiuchus in the Zodiac Constellations for certain reasons. The origin of the Zodiac Constellations can be dated back more than 2000 years ago. At that time, the position of the stars is really different as to what we see now. The position of the stars that we see changes over time due to the Earth’s wobbly axis.

While we can argue that Ophiuchus should be part of the Zodiac Constellations due to its current position, there still remains the fact that ASTRONOMY IS NOT ASTROLOGY and they are two different fields.

At the end of the day, Stellarium is an Astronomy application.

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