Astronomy vs. Astrology: Is Astrology a Bust?
During lecture in my astronomy class on Wednesday, my Professor began the class asking us, “What is astrology?” and “How is it different from astronomy?”. At the beginning of the semester, we all filled out a questionnaire and most of the class said either that the two were directly related or that they were basically the same thing. In reality, as our Professor explained, astronomy is a science while astrology is unproven and not testable. To be more specific, astronomy is the scientific study of the celestial objects, their movement, and phenomenon beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Celestial objects include planets, stars, nebulas, comets, star clusters, and galaxies. On the other hand, Astrology is the attempt to determine ones destiny. Astrology is a false science, or pseudoscience. I know you all have heard of horoscopes which are based on your astronomical or “zodiac” sign. Astrologer’s believe that there are twelve signs: Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn. So, if there are twelve signs and you divide that by the six billion people on Earth, come to find, astrologers are saying that five million people are going to have the same destiny. This is not physically possible. Also, if you haven’t already noticed, the daily and monthly horoscopes that astrologers predict are different in every magazine and website. The readings are so broad that really anyone could relate and make it fit into their life. Accuracy and factuality in astrology is clearly non-existent.
Your zodiac sign is supposed to be based on which constellation the sun was in on the day you were born. Astrologers developed this concept over 2,000 years ago, but what nobody knew, is that constellations shift. According to astrologers there are twelve signs, but due to the movement of the constellations caused by precession, a thirteenth sign has entered the suns path, Ophiuchus. Precession is essentially the wobbling of the Earth on its axis due to the gravity of the Sun and the Moon. For example, if you spin a spinning top on a table, it begins to wobble as it slows down. One “wobble” or complete cycle takes about 26,000 years. To understand the significance of precession, you must know that the north star, Polaris, has not always been our north star. Earth’s north axis pointed to Thuban 5,000 years ago. Since then, constellations have been shifted so much that our “astrological signs” are a complete constellation off.
Although many of you will probably continue to believe in your astrological signs, just remember one thing, astronomy is SCIENCE. Astrology is merely a mythological representation of a group of astrologers attempting to predict ones destiny.