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In its Tumblr post, NASA explains the origins of the zodiac, created more than 3,000 years ago.
But that’s irrelevant for the tropical zodiac, codified for Western astrology by Ptolemy in the second century, he says.
"Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn't fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one," says Space Place.
"To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12." Fast-forward to now, and NASA (and every non-NASA astronomer) notes that because of a tiny wobble in Earth’s axis, the constellations are no longer in the same position in the sky as they were 3,000 years ago.
As Christopher Crockett explains for Earthsky.org, this wobble in the axis is super subtle - it takes 26,000 years to wobble around once - but the effects can build into something noticeable.
"On the June solstice 2,000 years ago, the Sun was sitting almost halfway between Gemini and Cancer," says Crockett.