The 13th Zodiac Constellation, Ophiuchus

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

Contrary to how they are often portrayed, constellations are regions of the sky, not a certain pattern of interconnected stars. The sun appears to pass through these regions in the celestial sphere on a path called the ecliptic, which is the basis for the zodiac. In addition to the 12 famous constellations in the zodiac, the sun now passes through a 13th, called Ophiuchus. Some people consider Ophiuchus the 13th zodiac sign. Typically, though, the signs and their corresponding dates don't match up with the length of time that the sun actually passes under the constellation. For example, the sun is in Scorpius for only 7 days out of the year, and under Virgo for 45.

Advertisement

Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

The Stories Of The Constellations

Get schooled on the constellations, and the stories behind them.

Share the knowledge!

What Are Constellations?

Learn more about these groups of stars.

Share the knowledge!

The Mysteries of Astronomy

The universe continues to confound even the most educated scientists.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Scientists don't fully understand whether the universe is finite or infinite. 01:29

  2. There are supermassive black holes at the center of almost every galaxy. 02:17

  3. Physicists have not yet observed a decaying proton. 03:23

Advertisement