What is Ofiuco, the supposed “new zodiac sign approved by NASA”

A viral publication “endorsed by NASA ” indicates that Ofiuco is the new zodiac sign from this 2023. This false news is shared every new year.


A great stir was caused on Twitter by a publication in which the user FRCHO pointed out with great conviction a new zodiac sign : Ofiuco .

In a tweet viewed 37 million times, the user pointed out that “from January 1, the new official calendar for the zodiac signs came into force.”

In an image that accompanies the text, you can see how various signs reduce their days to make room for Ophiuchus , the 13th zodiac sign determined between November 30 and December 17.

According to the viral image, which received the attention of great streamers such as ‘Ibai’ and ‘AuronPlay’, it was determined by “ NASA , who marked it like this since 2016”. But what is true in this?

Neither Ophiuchus, nor NASA nor a new zodiac sign

The first thing to say is that NASA “does not determine the zodiacal signs” because this “study” belongs to astrology, a set of beliefs that is based on giving meaning to the constellations and celestial events in relation to the earthly events, such as the birth of a person, to determine qualities and even their character. The space agency is based on astronomy, which is the study of celestial bodies and the universe, as well as the astronomical phenomena linked to them. It also covers the development, origin and future of the universe as a whole together with other sciences.

But precisely NASA has been clear on multiple occasions on this issue and “its relationship” with it. “We see your comments on a zodiac story that resurfaces every few years. No, we don’t change the zodiac.”

“Here at NASA , we study astronomy, not astrology. We did not change any sign of the zodiac, we only did the calculations, ”the agency begins.

“The Babylonians lived more than 3,000 years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts, like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They chose 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 “slices.” So, as the Earth revolves around the Sun, it would appear that the Sun passes through each of the 12 parts of the zodiac. Since the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar (based on the phases of the moon), each month had a part of the zodiac to itself,” he adds.

“But even according to the ancient stories of the Babylonians, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they chose one, Ophiuchus (Ofiuco), to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit perfectly into their allotted slice of the pie and moved on to the next one,” he says. ” The constellations come in different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time aligned with each one. Earth’s line through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but points to Scorpio for only 7 days. For To make a neat combination with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. They then assigned each of those 12 constellations the same amount of time.”

On this, they were clear: there are multiple constellations and the Earth can rotate around 13 of them a year, but the ancient Babylonians dispensed with the last one. There was never any scientific justification for it.

The impact of the tweet, however, is done. In Google Trends we can see how the searches for “ Ofiuco ” have increased, accompanied by other terms such as “personality” and “zodiacal sign January 2023”.

What is Ophiuchus?

Talking about Ofiuco as a sign is talking about a hoax from years ago. Moreover, since 1970 he was claimed as a new one by Steven Schmidt in his book  Astrology 14: How to Cast  along with Cetus.

But actually, this constellation is one of the 48 oldest observed by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. They associated Ophiuchus with Aesculapius as a representation of medicine and healing.

Ophiuchi ‘s brightest star is α Ophiuchi. Several of the closest stars to our solar system are located in it, in addition to the 70 Ophiuchi and 36 Ophiuchi systems, made up of orange dwarfs.

It also has multiple exoplanets, in addition to the M2-9 nebula, also known as the Twin Jets nebula, a planetary nebula located about 2,100 light-years away.