“We just did the math.” — NASA spokesperson
Obviously, astrological enthusiasts are questioning the very fiber of their beings: “Should I abandon my identity as a practical, grounded Capricorn?” “Should I break up with my now Aries boyfriend?” “Should I watch a different movie this fall?!”
The current hubbub stems from a NASA Space Place blog post (written for children) explaining the existence of a 13th constellation, Ophiuchus, which was left out of the zodiac by the ancient Babylonians who wanted to fit each sign neatly into the 12-month calendar. The post also points out the Earth’s relation to these constellations is no longer the same, as the direction of the Earth’s axis has shifted over the last 3,000 years.
Once the Internet had enough time to fully freak out, NASA responded with a big ol’ chill pill.
“We didn’t change any Zodiac signs, we just did the math,” NASA spokesperson Dwayne Brown told Gizmodo. “The Space Place article was about how astrology is not astronomy, how it was a relic of ancient history, and pointed out the science and math that did come from observations of the night sky.”
It’s not like any of this is new. We went through the same Ophiuchus fuss at least twice before, once in 2011 and again 2015. According to a write-up in TIME, astrologers responded to those mini-panics by assuring us that horoscopes as we know them will remain unchanged “because Western astrology strictly adheres to the tropical zodiac, which is fixed to seasons.”
So before you go frantically trying to figure out what it means that your crush is now an Ophiuchus, remember that we’ve been through this before. If you’re someone who believes in and/or enjoys astrology, ease off your freak out and return to your safe Sagittarian life. This is sure to blow over by Scorpio season.