What All Astronomical People Need To Know Now That A 13th Zodiac Sign Exists

What All Astronomical People Need To Know Now That A 13th Zodiac Sign Exists

People everywhere are praying their tattoo is accurate.


In 2016, anyone who knew anything about astrology was thrown for a loop when Ophiuchus was discovered to be part of the zodiac. People everywhere were scouring the internet for their new zodiac sign and praying their tattoo would still be accurate.

Since then, people have been coming to terms with their updated horoscopes as well as continuing to check up on the old ones, but why, all of a sudden, did the zodiac change? And did it actually shift? These are the answers you never knew you were looking for.

What makes it the zodiac?


Traditionally, the zodiac consists of 12 constellations - Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aires, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius.

These constellations exist along the ecliptic (the path of the sun across the sky). Ancient astronomers and astrologers identified these signs and their dates based on how long the sun passed in front of each constellation. It takes about a month for the sun to shift from one constellation to the next. Their dates are as follows:

Capricorn (The Goat): December 22nd - January 19th

Aquarius (The Water Bearer): January 20th - February 18th

Pisces (The Fishes): February 19th - March 20th

Aires (The Ram): March 21st - April 19th

Taurus (The Bull): April 20th - May 20th

Gemini (The Twins): May 21st - June 20th

Cancer (The Crab): June 21st - July 22nd

Leo (The Lion): July 23rd - August 22nd

◊ Virgo (The Virgin): August 22nd - September 22nd

Libra (The Scales): September 23rd - October 22nd

Scorpio (The Scorpion): October 23rd - November 21st

Sagittarius (The Archer): November 22nd - December 21st

So whats new?


In recent astronomy,the constellation Ophiuchus has inched it's way onto the ecliptic, forcing its way between Scorpio and Sagittarius in the zodiac. This is due to the movement of objects, specifically stars, in our galaxy.

"[...] the stars, including the Sun, travel in their own separate orbits through the Milky Way galaxy. The stars move along with fantastic speeds, but they are so far away that it takes a long time for their motion to be visible to us."

This shift in the sky has caused there to speculation of a "new" zodiac that includes Ophiuchus. However, since modern astronomy considers constellations to be not just the connect-the-dot figures in the sky, but also the space and additional stars around it, Sagittarius and Ophiuchus tend to overlap. This creates discrepancy in the dates associated with this new piece of the zodiac, but the general consensus seems to be that the sun is in front of Ophiuchus from November 30th to December 18th.

Did anything actually change?


According to NASA, no. Experts say that about 3,000 years ago, 13 constellations were identified to be part of the zodiac, but since the calendar the Babylonians were creating at the time only fit 12 ranges of dates, Ophiuchus was chosen to be omitted from the zodiac. NASA also made a statement that the traditional zodiac would not be altered, and that anything astrology did in terms of creating a "new" zodiac has nothing to do with astronomy.

On that note:


It is totally up to you what sign you choose to identify as! Choosing to include Ophiuchus is no more right or wrong than omitting it; there are valid points for both sides, which is good news (especially if you just got that tattoo!).

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The Pros And Cons Of Being 'Aware Of What’s Going On'

Not to throw shade, but some of you need to stop excusing yourselves from knowing what's going on in the world you live in.


Without fail, my grandparents watch the five o'clock news every single evening. They also like to browse the newspaper from time to time. Regardless of the platform, they keep up with the latest headlines. As a product of the internet/tech generation, I don't have to turn on the t.v. at five every day to get the scoop. No, I usually take to Twitter to scan my newsfeed for breaking stories. Either way, we can always count on each other to discuss the latest, biggest events of the week on my Friday afternoon visits.

Though it may seem like a nice way to bond with my grandparents, the topics of discussion aren't always that pleasant. In general, keeping up with the news doesn't often bring overwhelming feelings of warmth. There are the occasional "feel good" stories and positive outlooks on upcoming events, though. No matter what the mood of the reporting is, staying in tune with the world around us just seems necessary.

If you're not convinced, allow me to break down the pros and cons of staying aware of the world around you. Normally, I'd start by facing up to the negatives of the conversation, but I think those are more evident. I'd rather offer a potentially pleasant surprise for "staying woke."

I think it's important to acknowledge, first, that we can't hide from the world we live. Avoiding the news or the tough topics often reported doesn't make them go away. As such, keeping up to date does offer something beneficial in return for the dread.

Becoming, or staying, well-informed gives you more opportunities to engage with people you might not normally interact with. As I previously mentioned, I love to chat with my grandparents on Friday afternoons, and we often take to discussing the past week's broadcasts. Even if your grandparents aren't as readily available, people outside of your inner circle won't be as out of reach. Having some knowledge, even if it's limited, about things that are inevitably affecting everyone offer common talking points.

Continuing with the idea of connecting with people outside of your social circle, many news updates revolve around people who are in situations much unlike our own. I think it's far too easy for us to become immune to the world's problems when they don't directly apply to us. If we don't see them or hear about them, they essentially don't exist. Known or unknown, the problems affecting others can't be solved if everyone decides to follow this inattention and maintain an apathetic attitude. I'm not saying you should watch the news to become super(woman or man), but a heightened awareness is a good place to start. Becoming aware may, in turn, lead to your involvement in aiding or supporting a cause/need.

At the root of awareness is changing. The world is in a constant state of flux, and it can be advantageous to know about it. I think many people are resistant to change because of the unknown factors that may stem from it. Staying ahead of these changes, whether it's new laws and policies, shifts in markets, or altering world relations, will leave less likelihood for startling surprises later down the road. Besides, change can be good. Even then, what's good for one person may not be as good for the next, and vice versa. Regardless, we all operate within the confines of these changes.

Yes, there's an upside to being informed, but I won't ignore the glaring cons. I believe that, even with the cons, there's still a rational break down to dealing with the downside of staying up-to-date.

I think the most daunting aspect of following the news is the seemingly endless stream of negativity. A lot of reporting highlights the tragedies and conflict that plague our world, and it can honestly be a bummer. Tag lines of civil war, domestic terrorism, and corrupt politicians dominate most of the media's output. However, you don't have to catch every segment or read through every story.

Since I mainly get my updates through twitter, I can scroll as quickly or slowly through my feed as I want. Whereby, I can see glimpses of what the articles have to offer and go from there. I can easily bypass the mountains of negativity that sometimes form on my newsfeed. Instead, I can explore the "feel good" moments that make their way to the forefront every so often.

There can be an overwhelming amount of information to navigate through. Being selective is OK. Selectivity isn't ignoring difficult topics, it's being conscientious of our intake. Moreover, media consumption shouldn't go unfiltered. Yes, we need to engage with hard-to-swallow issues, but we can do so in small bits. With the number of problems circulating in the news, being in the loop can often lead to a feeling of helplessness. As one person facing a sea of issues, what can you possibly do? Again, you don't have to drop everything and become a superhero. Mindfulness of the struggles others face is a step in the right direction. It's the beginning of finding where or how you can help, and not just simply be an uninformed bystander.

At the end of the day, there'll always be another newscast, another headline, and another developing story. Navigating the highs and lows of current events can be insightful, but overwhelmingly so at times. In any case, we can't shut our eyes and hide behind our eyelids. Each of us exists as a small fraction of this giant place we call earth. To not be informed doesn't excuse you from not engaging with the world around you. At the same time, you don't have to be overly informed to make a difference. In all things, balance.


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How Nazis Destroyed The Early LGBTQ+ Movement

Berlin was once the center for the LGBTQ+ movement. Was.


Many people are unaware of the LGBTQ+ movement before Stonewall. Broad accusations of queer identities becoming "trendy" are often debated without an in-depth discussion of life before the nuclear family.

There is a reason for this lack of contextual factors. And it's not a happy one. Simon LeVay, neuroscience known for his work with gay men, claims that "America was not the birthplace of the gay-rights movement." Berlin was. Was.

The erasure of LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people, has been amplified through historical revisionism and censorship throughout the years. An example? The Berlin book burning.

The Berlin book burnings occurred in May 1993, by German university students. This was the largest of the orchestrated burnings, but many occurred throughout the nation. These burnings targeted literature that did not fit within Nazi standards or had "un-German spirit." Many of these works were written and published by Jewish authors. The propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, claimed: "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism has come to an end."

Magnus Hirschfield, a sexologist, was one of the many authors who would see the flames of censorship seize his work. Hirschfield formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, dedicated to the social recognition of LGBTQ+ individuals. It was the first queer advocacy group, ever.

Hirshcfield, along with Arnold Kronfeld, also ran the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, or loosely translated, Institute of Sexology. Hirschfield pioneered the term "transsexualism," and many transgender people were both clients and employees of the Institute, and presented at conferences. The Institute also provided gender-affirming surgeries -- The "Danish Girl," Lili Elbe, underwent surgery here.

In early Berlin, LGBTQ+ magazines existed. LGBTQ+ bars, bookstores, and travel guides existed. Berlin was the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ movement, and many individuals thrived despite laws against homosexuality.

But this all changed when the Nazis came into power.

On May 6, students broke into The Institute and stole the archives of the library, including 12,000+ books. Only four days later, they were destroyed in the burning.

After Nazism took full reign in Germany, life changed completely for LGBTQ+ individuals. An estimated 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Nazi Germany. Up to 15,000 of these men ended up in concentration camps.

We have lost countless, irreplaceable research due to Nazism. We have lost countless, irreplaceable lives due to Nazism.

And we can't let this happen again. With the rise of the far-right, with the passage of laws targeting LGBTQ+ people under the Trump administration, we are losing the progress we've made over the past several years.

So educate yourself on LGBTQ+ history. Speak out against bigotry.

The more education we provide, the less power bigotry will have.

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