FFR: Astronomically-correct horoscopes

Published 2013-11-02

The newspaper says I’m a “Virgo,” which implies that the sun was in the constellation Virgo at the moment of my birth. It wasn’t. It was actually in Leo. This isn’t a small error: it’s off by nearly two weeks.

It turns out most people’s “star sign” is similarly wrong. There are, in fact, thirteen constellations on the ecliptic (the path traced by the sun through the stars.) And they are very different sizes! For example: the sun is in Scorpius for all of seven days. But it’s in Virgo for almost six weeks.

If you ever need proof that astrology is a fat load of hooey, remember this: Astrologers are consistently wrong about the one thing in their world that is instantly, observationally verifiable. And they’ve been wrong about it since the second century AD.

Anyhoo, for future reference: Astronomically-correct horoscopes

Star sign Said to begin on… Actually begins on…
Pisces February 20 March 11
Aries March 21 April 19
Taurus April 21 May 14
Gemini May 22 June 21
Cancer June 22 July 20
Leo July 23 August 10
Virgo August 23 September 16
Libra September 24 October 31
Scorpius October 24 November 23
Ophiuchus November 30
Sagittarius November 23 December 18
Capricorn December 22 January 20
Aquarius January 21 February 16