Whoops, You're Not Actually a Capricorn

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That darn moon! When it's not shrinking or giving hope to thirsty nerds, it's screwing up our star charts. The Minnesota Star Tribune reports that over the past few millennia, lunar gravity has introduced minor wobbles to the Earth's orbit. These variations have knocked the original Babylonian Zodiac out of true--meaning that whatever sign you think you are, you may not actually be that sign.

Then again, you might. Here are the new horoscope dates, via Melissa Bell at The Washington Post. Note that for some birthdays, the sign remains the same.

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-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

Bell points out that some astrology devotees may have already seen this coming. "Live Science reported on the role of 'precession' on astrology in 2007," she writes. "Precession is the phenomenon of the moon causing the earth to 'wobble' on its axis." Bell also quotes a commenter on the Star Tribune story, who writes, "How can people with Ph.D.s be so ignorant? Of course astrologers know about precession--they've known since about 200 BC. Horoscopes always take it into account."

Fair enough. But what does all this mean for those of us at home? Here's noted rapper "Weird Al" Yankovic to explain the effects of the new Zodiac in real-world terms.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.