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Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign, as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825.	Source: Sidney Hall / Public domain

People Alarmed Over Announcement of 13th Astrological Sign


NASA, the American civilian Space Agency, has moved quickly to tell people not to panic about the announcement of a 13th zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, which has been causing a panic among those who believe in astrology. But NASA has said there is nothing to fear.  

Reportedly, NASA announced the discovery of a 13 th zodiac sign called Ophiuchus, which is better known as the ‘serpent-bearer’ and, as a result, many would need to change their astrological chart. For instance, Scorpio would be reduced to just a week and this would mean that a lot of people would be moved to a different star sign.

Astrology is the ancient study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects, which are used to predict human affairs, personality traits and terrestrial events.

13th Zodiac Sign Creates Online Astrology Panic

The news of a 13th zodiac sign worried many people who believe in astrology and many began to panic. Countless people posted on social media about this topic and wanted to know what NASA was up to. One Twitter user posted, “Can someone explain to me why NASA is now telling us there's a 13th-star sign and I've just been bumped from Sagittarius to the new one WHEN I'VE GOT THE STAG STAR SIGN TATTOOED ON MY ANKLE” reports The Irish Post.

NASA soon distanced itself from the claims and according to TIME stated that “No, we did not change the zodiac.” The US space agency then explained that there is a great difference between astrology, a pseudoscience, and astronomy, which is a science. NASA scientists observe space, astral bodies and other phenomenon and it has nothing to do with astrology, which claims to predict people’s future and describe their personality.

Excerpt from a Babylonian astrology treatise. Terracotta, end of 1st millenium BC. From Warka, ancient Uruk. (Louvre Museum / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Excerpt from a Babylonian astrology treatise. Terracotta, end of 1st millenium BC. From Warka, ancient Uruk. (Louvre Museum / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Babylonians Invented the Zodiac Four Millennia Ago

NASA explained on their blog that “the zodiac signs are simply constellations that are in line with the Earth and the Sun as the planet follows its orbit” according to TIME.  The earth moves through 13 of these signs and one of these is called Ophiuchus, which is one of the 88 officially recognized constellations. It was conceived as a zodiac sign, represented as a man with a serpent in his hands, in ancient times. This sign and the 12 signs of the zodiac were conceived some 3000 years ago by the Babylonians. They were an Akkadian speaking people who developed a powerful civilization in what is now southern Iraq and were instrumental in the development of astronomy.

Apparently, the Babylonians did not like having 13 signs because their calendar had 12 months and they wanted to tidy things up. So, they excluded the 13 th sign, Ophiuchus, and this explains why it does not appear in astrology charts. NASA wrote on a Tumblr post that “Ophiuchus didn't make the cut” reports CNN. The astrological chart developed by the Babylonians around four millennia ago is still the one in use today to draw up horoscopes.

Herkules and Ophiuchus, 1602 by Willem Blaeu. (Erik Lernestål / Public domain)

Herkules and Ophiuchus, 1602 by Willem Blaeu. (Erik Lernestål / Public domain)

The 13th Zodiac Sign Hoax Will Not Go Away

In 2011, American astronomers determined that because of the moon’s gravitational pull “the alignment of the stars has shifted, so the sun points to different parts of the zodiac at different times” according to TIME. The constellations shift constantly and are not fixed, and this has been measured by astronomers. NASA only measured the changes in the constellations and did not change the zodiac signs. CNN noted that ‘The agency does not preside over the astrological calendar, but it has observed how the positions of constellations have shifted since the Babylonians divvied up the zodiac.”

The idea that NASA found a 13 th zodiac sign is one that has gone viral on the internet several times, in the past ten years.  In 2016, similar rumors about changes to the astrological chart were squashed by NASA. However, the panic has resurfaced in recent weeks, to the clear annoyance of professional astronomers.

NASA Compares Astrological Beliefs To Fantasy Stories

What is clear is that NASA scientists do not respect the basic ideas behind astrology. They do not believe that the birth sign that one was born under can influence one's destiny or describe an individual. In an educational blog, they stated that “No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birth date” reports TIME. They also compared horoscopes to fantasy stories. However, the latest internet panic once again shows how easily misinformation and fake news can spread on the internet, especially via social media.

Top image: Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign, as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825.        Source: Sidney Hall / Public domain

By Ed Whelan



Hello Ed Whelan,

My earlier question about who the 13th Zodiac figure is never mind I finished reading Enoch 3 Book of Giant's, I know who it is strangling that snake.

Even NASA is getting their facts wrong. There always was a 13th sign, the Babylonians used it. The point is that they only used it in SOME years, not every year, when they needed to align the months with the seasons. Probably the Greeks are the ones who decided 12 is enough. I don't think the signs are at different times now because of the moon, it's just the precession of the equinoxes.
People who think lumps of rock and gas millions of kilometres away can affect them differently to the person next to them really need to learn how to think.

For the life I cannot understand why a person who has not studied Astrology should write an article on the subject or even mention the subject.

When they do mention Astrology it is to rubbish the subject.
Over many years so much has been written rubbishing the subject that I took a course in Astrology, just to strengthen my antagonist ammo.
Astrology switched a massive, life changing attitude within me.

There is no thirteenth zodiac sigh and never will there be. 12 is key in Astrology.

Study Astrology before commenting on it as you have no foundation to rubbish the subject and therefore you probably have no foundation for anything you write.

Among Astrologers there simply is no panic. The heading to this article is incorrect. The fact that the article has been published on AO reduces AO's credibility.

Rick Boyd Astrologer's picture

Nobody in the astrological community is alarmed. Bored, maybe, that this rather limp hoax makes yet another appearance. We’ll be kind and assume it’s just a slow news day for the media and they can roll out a tired old bandwgon for fanboys (and girls) of the Holy Church of Science to reinforce their emotional and ego investment in the Cultural Dominant and marginalise the Cultural Other.
NASA is right to distance itself from this. Firslty, what NASA knows about astrology could probably be inscribed on a cockroach’s toenail, and secondly, the zodiac is nothing whatsoever to do with NASA. Mainly because it's nothing whatsoevere to do with the constellations, which are only coincidental human constructs anyway. There is evidence that Babylonian astronomers based their zodiac on their astronomical calendar for the usual purposes of predicting seasons for trade and agriculture, and made it twelve months and 12 signs to roughly equate to the annual lunar orbits and 360 degrees to roughly equate to the days a year; and they didn’t make it 13 months/signs or 365.25 degrees/days because those numbers don’t divide nicely by 12 and 30. The actual constellations (the Babylonians counted 18 on the ecliptic anyway) have absolutely zero relevance apart from generously donating their names. And the western tropical zodiac of 12 equal signs is aligned with 0 degrees Aries fixed to the March equinox, which is now seriously adrift from the constellations. It’s always been about the signs, it always will be about the signs. The constellations, however many anyone cares to invent, are just not relevant at all.

Rick B Astrologer

Hi Ed Whelan,

My only question is Opicuhus holding the snake or is he battling the Leviathan snake could that be Gilgamesh Nimrod? Reason why I ask Nimrod in the Bible is referred to as the Mighty Hunter Before the Lord.

I always believed that Nimrod and Gilgamesh was one and the same person which meant his true identity was Gilgamesh Nimrod.

In the Bible the last name was first because it identified you which one of the 3 Son's of Noah you came from example Shem is we're we get the word Semite from Abraham was the great-grandson of Shem so he's a Semite coincidentally Shem is the Father of Everyone in Asia save for India because the region is divided by his ancestors an his brothers Ancestors Japheth Indo-Aryan.

Hey Ed I just came across something while engaging in Bible Study not from the Traditional Bible this is from The Book of Enoch better known as Enoch 3 The Book of Giant's.

It's a detail explanation of the Pre-Flood Era World anyway, I happen to see when reading this specific Biblical Testimony that one of the Giant's who was a Son of one of the Fallen 200 Watcher Angels whose name is Baraqel or Baraqiel name the Father of Gilgamesh according to the text he was supposed to have been a great warrior in fact the book describes him as re-known Hero what this says to me is that Nimrod was named after this Gilgamesh probably because He might have been a cousin or a great-uncle.

Nimrod Gilgamesh is still in my opinion one and the same person it's possible that Ham's wife may have been a relative of this re-known hero Gilgamesh Nimrods father was Cush Ham's first born son.

Oh one last thing if one has any dealings with the Stock market; and or other investments, Astrology is how they go about Investing in things.

Distant relatives of mine through marriage got the use of a Financial Planner found out the person did stock dealings solely based on Astrology.

What do you think of that I thought it was crazy but, then the other half of the World think I'm crazy because I'm a SDA Christian✝.


Ed Whelan's picture


My name is Edward Whelan and I graduated with a PhD in history in 2008. Between 2010-2012 I worked in the Limerick City Archives. I have written a book and several peer reviewed journal articles. At present I am a... Read More

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