Zodiac Signs

In both astrology and historical astronomy, the zodiac (Greek: ζῳδιακός, zōdiakos) is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that are centered upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets also remain close to the ecliptic, within the belt of the zodiac, which extends 8-9° north or south of the ecliptic, as measured in celestial latitude. Because the divisions are regular, they do not correspond exactly to the twelve constellations after which they are named.

Historically, these twelve divisions are called signs. Essentially, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude. Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one, the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology.

The Twelve Signs

1. Aries (The Ram) ♈
2. Taurus (The Bull) ♉
3. Gemini (The Twins) ♊
4. Cancer (The Crab) ♋
5. Leo (The Lion) ♌
6. Virgo (The Virgin) ♍
7. Libra (The Scales) ♎
8. Scorpio (The Scorpion) ♏
9. Sagittarius (The Archer) ♐
10. Capricorn (The Sea-Goat) ♑
11. Aquarius (The Water Pourer) ♒
12. Pisces (The Fish) ♓



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