Constellations exist only in the minds of human beings. They are projected onto random groups of stars to create a picture story.
These pictures have appeared in the sky every year at the same time for thousands of years. From very early in recorded history, the stars were important to people in their daily lives.
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The stars assisted the ancients in planning for the planting of their crops, guiding navigators on their many adventures, and as a way of telling time. Much wonder and mystery was associated with the stars, and the people of ancient times began to place a grander, often divine, meaning on the majestic heavenly bodies.
In the beginning, Astrology and Astronomy were sister sciences, and developed side by side for Millennia. At first, astrology was the more important of the two. However, in modern times, the science of astronomy has shown conclusively that astrology, while based on sound astronomical principles, is useless when it comes to analyzing personalities and predicting the future.
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Nevertheless, many people today still choose to believe in astrology, and there is big business in casting horoscopes. For that reason, we present here the Signs of the Zodiac, the 12 Zodiacal Constellations, to give you a chance to learn more about these constellations and the beautiful myths associated with them.
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You will also be able to learn about the important astronomical objects which can be found in these constellations with a telescope, a pair of binoculars, or even the naked eye. According to astrology, the period of the year which each sign of the zodiac dominates is determined by the time in which the Sun is "in" its corresponding constellation.
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For that reason, it is not actually possible to observe a zodiacal constellation in the night sky during the time its sign is dominant. Instead, look for your constellation in the exact opposite time of the year. For example, Sagittarius is designated as from November 22 to December However, if you want to observe Sagittarius, you will have to wait until Summer to see it. Instead, spend your observing time viewing Taurus.
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Zodiac is the term used to describe the circle of 12 divisions of celestial longitude that are centred upon the path of the sun. However in , it was revealed that the stars have shifted so our zodiac signs have changed too. Astrologers around the world celebrate their love of the stars on March 20 which is considered the start of the astrological year. Sharing both our common and diverse perspectives on how we relate to the stars is the gift of International Astrology Day. Some curious symbols ring the outside of the Star Finder. These symbols stand for some of the constellations in the zodiac.
What is the zodiac and what is special about these constellations? Imagine a straight line drawn from Earth through the Sun and out into space way beyond our solar system where the stars are. Then, picture Earth following its orbit around the Sun. This imaginary line would rotate, pointing to different stars throughout one complete trip around the Sun—or, one year.
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All the stars that lie close to the imaginary flat disk swept out by this imaginary line are said to be in the zodiac. The constellations in the zodiac are simply the constellations that this imaginary straight line points to in its year-long journey. In ancient times, astronomers did not fully understand how Earth, the Sun, and the stars moved.
Nor did they have any idea the Universe is so vast.
But they were keen observers of the sky and tried very hard to make sense of it. People had already imagined that the constellations might be important symbols, telling stories of their gods and other myths. It was not a big step to suppose that the changing positions of the constellations at different times of the year might be important to people and events on Earth. The Babylonians lived over 3, years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts--like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices.
They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 "slices. Since the Babylonians already had a month calendar based on the phases of the Moon , each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself.