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Heres Why Zodiac Constellations Are Still Used in Astronomy

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Astronomy   |   Science  
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To understand astronomy, astrology might actually not be a bad place to start... Although scientists certainly havent proven that being an Aries makes you more impatient or a Libra means youre wise, the constellations in the zodiac have unlocked hidden secrets of the stars for centuries. In this episode, well explore the ecliptic line and how it is still significant to astronomers today.
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Heres how it works. If you could see all of the stars during the day, over the course of a year youd be able to see the Sun slowly moving along a path from one constellation to the next. That imaginary path is called the ecliptic; and its arguably one of the most important coordinate systems in astronomy.

What makes the ecliptic line so useful is how it shows the plane of Earths orbit around the Sun and our place in the solar system.

Because all of the major celestial bodies in the solar system orbit the Sun in a similar way, theyre on or near the same flat plane of the ecliptic. Thats all the planets, and even the Moon. While some differ by a few degrees from the line, they're all essentially there. Another reason zodiac constellations became so famous throughout history, is that we always see the moon, planets and eclipses near them.

Huge thank you to Chabot Space & Science Center for all of their help with this video. Check them out here: https://chabotspace.org/

#constellations #astronomy #astrology #science #seeker

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Dates of the suns entry into the zodiacal constellations for 2021
You might know that the real sun in the real sky does not appear in front of a constellation of the zodiac within the same range of dates youll see listed in astrological horoscopes. Thats because astrology and astronomy are different systems. Astrologers typically indicate the suns position with signs while astronomers use constellations. We were asked for a list of the constellations that fall on the ecliptic with the exact degrees. And weve located this information in Guy Ottewells Astronomical Calendar 2021.
https://earthsky.org/?p=320593

The First Validated Planets Found by K2
A majority of all exoplanets known today were discovered by Kepler. After the spacecrafts loss of a second reaction wheel in 2014, the mission was renamed K2 and embarked on a new survey of the ecliptic plane, divided into campaigns of roughly 80 days each. We have presented 104 validated planets discovered using K2 photometry and supporting ground-based observations. Of these, 64 are planets validated here for the first time.
https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~ianc/docs/crossfield_K2s_new_planets.pdf

Why Dont the Constellations Line Up with the Astrological Dates?
The astrological signs were identified and connected to the calendar about 2500 years ago. However, since that time, the timing of Earths seasons has shifted. This is partly due to the fact that Earth wobbles a little like a top, making its axis point in different directions at different times. This is a predictable cycle of change over a period of about 23,000 years.
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/skytellers/constellations/
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You can probably point to the Big Dipper, Orion's Belt, and your astrological sign in the stars.
But what would the constellations look like from another solar system? And will any of Orions stars ever become black holes? In Seeker Constellations, we'll explain the science of the universes most famous stars and dive into the culturally significant stories behind them. Most importantly, well provide a guide to where you can see these incredible constellations for yourself!
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Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.

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