Here at Refinery29, we invest a lot of meaning in the astrological sign we were born into — like, a lot a lot. Imagine our surprise (and okay, slight panic), when we got the bone-chilling news that NASA may have declared the date ranges by which we define the signs to be all wrong. Once we got over the initial shock, being the voracious stargazers that we are, we knew we needed to take a closer look. In a blog post published back in January of this year, NASA reminded us that there are, in fact, 13 constellations in the original zodiac. It's just that 3,000 years ago, when they were drawing up a plan for the signs of the zodiac that would correspond with the months of year, the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar — so they left poor Ophiuchus out. With that and the fact that the earth's axis no longer points in the same direction in mind, NASA explained that the signs as we know them have completely different date ranges now. Here the "new" dates for all 13 signs: Capricorn: January 20 - February 16 Aquarius: February 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 – August 10 Leo: August 10 – September 16 Virgo: September 16 – October 30 Libra: October 30 – November 23 Scorpio: November 23 – November 29 Ophiuchus: November 29 – December 17 Sagittarius: December 17 – January 20
Now that you've caught your breath, here's a hard truth: From the get-go, astrology was not intended as an exact science. And as NASA has shown, some of its most foundational values, like these very signs, can be challenged by astrology's hard-science counterpart, astronomy. For those of you scrambling to know what to believe in anymore, it's completely up to you. Some astrologers add that the seasons play a role in determining the signs' dates, but it's really just a matter of whether you subscribe to the zodiac signs or their corresponding constellations. Each person has a different relationship with their sign and horoscope — if they have one at all — so if you'd like this news from NASA to shatter your worldview, by all means, let it. But if you've already invested a fair share of personal meaning into the sign you've believed you were born under all along, that's fine, too. Finally, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't the first time this has happened and it won't be the last — after all, in the next couple thousand years, the earth's axis will probably point in a slightly different direction all over again.