OK...in sun-sign astrology, here is where astrologers say the sun is located at a particular day in the year. I have used a date that corresponds to the center of the constellation, and then looked up in the sky atlas what the actual center of the constellation is in the zodiac along the ecliptic plane. The actual position of the sun on that date is given by the U.S. Astronomical Ephemeris for 1998.
Sun Position *******Astrologically************ *******Actual******** Constellation Date RA Constellation Aries 4/1 0h 41m Pisces Taurus 5/1 2h 32m Aries Gemini 6/1 4h 35m Taurus Cancer 7/1 6h 40m Gemini Leo 8/1 8h 44m Cancer Virgo 9/1 10h 40m Leo Libra 10/1 12h 28m Virgo Scorpio 11/1 14h 24m Libra Sagittarius 12/1 16h 28m Scorpius (correct name) Capricorn 1/1 18h 46m Sagittarius Aquarius 2/1 20h 58m Capricorn Pisces 3/1 22h 47m Aquarius
So, the sun is actually located 1 sign BEHIND where the astrologers say it is. All Sagittarians are actually Scorpios. Actually, it's even worse than this because between December 4 and December 15, the Sun is in the constellation Ophiuchus which sits between Scorpius and Sagittarius on the Zodiac. Astrologers don't worry about that either.
Return to the Ask the Space Scientist main page.
All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the
NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program.