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YorkieGraham

Ophiuchus 13th Zodiacal Constellation

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What do folks think about the idea of 13 Zodiacal Constellations. I got thinking about this because Ophiuchus is behind the Sun from the end of November into December, far longer than for Scorpio which the Ecliptic only grazes. As a beginner I never included it when learning the constellations as it wasn't a sign of the Zodiac, it is not easy to trace and I also couldn't pronounce it! There is often something interesting, Solar System wise, going on in the Constellation and many others have suggested adopting it into the Zodiac in the past. I am just raising it again as it is a source of confusement to many joining the hobby that the planets pass through 13 constellations but there are only 12 official Zodiacal Constellations. What do folks think, is it worth getting a petition going to lobby the International Astronomical Union or does anyone know if they have discussed this in the past and thrown it out? I wouldn't go as far as some in suggesting that Cetus also be added although it is hosting Vesta at the moment. Isn't it time that we departed from the Astrological Zodiac Signs and adopted 13 Astronomy Ecliptic Constellations instead. What do others think?

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Ophiuchus, otherwise known as "Man in a kilt in a romantic relationship with a snake."

p02l45pk.jpg

It's omission from the zodiac is probably due to Greek astrologers wanting a tidy twelve, but the universe is indifferent to our attempts to impose order on it.

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Ophiuchus doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves even from astronomers. It is stuffed full of DSO's, globular clusters in particular but rarely seems to get a mention?

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There are plenty of interesting objects in there, good constellation to check out.

I confess I never even think about zodiacal constellations, or which ones are and aren't. I normally just observe whichever is best placed, convenient or not swamped by LP!

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interesting question; purely from an individual pov I must stress though - it doesn't worry me.  

Nomenclature at the best of times is tricky.

Would I support a petition - no - 

But, I do sympathise with your view of how it can be confusing for some and I see it more as a valuable lesson

running parallel to our interest in the world around us.

michael

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Ophiuchus doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves even from astronomers. It is stuffed full of DSO's, globular clusters in particular but rarely seems to get a mention?

Yes, it's a shame. Possibly because it doesn't rise very high here in the UK?

But, I do sympathise with your view of how it can be confusing for some and I see it more as a valuable lesson

running parallel to our interest in the world around us.

There was a nice article about this on the BBC website, the one I nicked the constellation art above from.

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