After the internet freaked out over “changing” zodiac signs last week, NASA is setting the record straight.
In a Tumblr post Monday, the space agency explained why no one should be having an identity crisis.
“Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology,” the post reads. “We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.”
The confusion stemmed from a slew of articles with headlines like, “Don’t Freak Out, But Your Star Sign Has Probably Changed,” and, “Your Astrological Sign Just Changed, Thanks To NASA.”
Needless to say, people lost it.
The articles cited a page on NASA’s website that mentioned a 13th zodiac sign, Ophiuchus. The same webpage described how the positions of constellations have shifted, relative to the Earth, in the thousands of years since the Babylonians originally mapped out the zodiac.
According to NASA, these two tidbits are nothing new.
In its Tumblr post, NASA explains the origins of the zodiac, created more than 3,000 years ago. According to ancient Babylonian stories, the zodiac originally contained 13 constellations, including Ophiuchus. However, they chose only 12 constellations to fit their existing calendar, which had only 12 months.
“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,” the NASA post explains. “Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.”
Meanwhile, the earth’s axis has changed position since Babylonian times, meaning it doesn’t point in the same direction it did 3,000 years ago.
While this explanation should clear up any remaining confusion, NASA stresses one major point: Astrology isn’t real science.
“No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based on their birth dates,” the post reads.
Though many people define themselves based on their star signs, wear astrological jewelry and read their horoscopes religiously, the zodiac is ultimately a human creation.
So, for every Taurus and Capricorn that questioned their identity in the midst of all this astrological hubbub, just remember: NASA doesn’t care about your star sign and you probably shouldn’t either.