But the true boundaries that divide the constellations, as defined by the International Astronomical Union IAU , are not exact. And in the meantime, here are the zodiac signs, listed in order along with what they mean, and some interesting facts associated with their respective constellations:. Aries is associated with Fire, and the ruling celestial body of Aries is Mars. It appears to be a red dwarf, a class of low temperature and low luminosity stars.
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For those with telescopes, several galaxies can be spotted within the Aries constellation as well. NGC is another, which is faint at magnitude 12 and part of a galaxy group.
Aries is also home to several meteor showers, such as the May Arietids. This daylight meteor shower begins between May 4th and June 6th with maximum activity happening on May 16th. The Epsilon Arietids are also a daylight occurrence, and are active between April 25th to May 27th with peak activity on May 9th. And then there are the Daytime Arietids, which occur from May 22nd to July 2nd with a maximum rate of one a minute on June 8th. To top it off, the Aries constellation contains several stars with extrasolar planets. For example, HIP , a G5 type star, is orbited by three confirmed exoplanets, all of them giant planets all Super-Earths.
HD , also a G-type main sequence star, has two orbiting planets which appear to be Super-Jupiters. And HD , a G0 type star, has one orbiting gas giant that roughly the same size as Jupiter. The ruling celestial body of Taurus is Venus. There is one major annual meteor shower associated with the constellation of Taurus: the annual Taurids, which peak on or about November 5th of each year and have a duration period of about 45 days. The maximum fall rate for this meteor shower is about 10 meteors per hour, with many bright fireballs often occurring when the parent comet — Encke — has passed near perihelion.
And speaking of Pleiades aka. Messier 45 , The Seven Sisters this cluster of stars is located perpendicular to Aldebaran in the night sky, and is visible to the unaided eye. Although it is made up of over confirmed stars, this object is identifiable by its seven particularly bright blue stars though as many as 14 up can be seen with the naked eye depending on local observing conditions. These are based on the Dioscuri of Greek mythology, two mortals that were granted shared godhood after death. Gemini is part of the Third House, traditionally named Fratres Brothers and currently known as the House of Communications.
The associated element for Geminis is Air, and the ruling celestial body is Mercury. Pollux is the brighter of the two, an orange-hued giant star of magnitude 1. Pollux has an extrasolar planet revolving around it, as do two other stars in Gemini, a super-Jupiter which was confirmed in There are two annual meteor showers associated with the constellation of Gemini.
The first is the March Geminids, which peaks on or around March 22nd. The average fall rate is generally about 40 per hour but this varies and the meteors appear to be very slow, entering our atmosphere unhurriedly and leaving lasting trails. The second meteor shower are the Geminids themselves, which peak on or near the date of December 14th, with activity beginning up to two weeks prior and lasting for several days. The Geminids are one of the most beautiful and mysterious showers, with a rate of about per hour during a moonless night.
The Gemini constellation is also associated with Messier 35 , a galactic open star cluster that is easily spotted with the naked eye. The star cluster is quite young, having formed some million years ago, and is quite bright due to it having blown away most of its leftover material i. Other open clusters in Gemini include NGC , which lies directly southwest of M35 in the night sky. In terms of the elements, Cancers are characterized by the element of Water, and the ruling celestial body of Cancer is The Moon.
This 3. This system is also home to a confirmed exoplanet, beta Cancri b, which is a Super-Jupiter with an orbital period of over days. In terms of deep-sky objects, Cancer is best known as being the home of Messier Object 44 aka. Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster , an open cluster located in the center of the constellation. Located light-years from Earth, it is one of the nearest open clusters to our Solar System.
M44 contains about 50 stars, the brightest of which are of the sixth magnitude. The smaller, denser open cluster of Messier Object 67 can also be found in Cancer, which is light-years from Earth and contains approximately stars. The active galaxy OJ is also found in the Cancer constellation.
Located 3. There is only one meteor shower associated with the constellation of Cancer, which is the Delta Cancrids. The peak date for this shower is on or about January 16t, and has been known to average only about 4 comets per hour and the meteors are very swift. The sign of Leo is also associated with the element of Fire and the ruling celestial body of Leo is The Sun. There are five annual meteor showers associated with the constellation Leo. The first is the Delta Leonid meteor stream, which begins between February 5th through March 19th every year. The activity peaks in late February, and the maximum amount of meteors averages around 5 per hour.
The next is the Sigma Leonid meteor shower, which begins on April 17th. This is a very weak shower, with activity rates no higher than 1 to 2 per hour. The next is the November Leonids, the largest and most dependable meteor shower associated with the Leo constellation. The peak date is November 17th, but activity occurs around 2 days on either side of the date. The radiant is near Regulus and this is the most spectacular of modern showers.
The shower is made more spectacular by the appearance of the Temple-Tuttle comet, which adds fresh material to the stream when it is at perihelion. The last is the Leo Minorids, which peak on or about December 14th, which is believed to produce around 10 faint meteors per hour. Leo is also home to some of the largest structures in the observable universe. This includes many bright galaxies, which includes the Leo Triplet aka. The Triplet is at a distance of 37 million light-years from Earth and has a somewhat distorted shape due to gravitational interactions with the other members of the Triplet, which are pulling stars away from M Both M65 and M66 are visible in large binoculars or small telescopes, but seeing them in all of their elongated glory requires a telescope.
In addition, it is also home to the famous objects Messier 95 , Messier 96 , and Messier These are spiral galaxies, in the case of M95 and M96 with M95 being a barred spiral , while Messier is an elliptical galaxy which is known to have a supermassive black hole at its center. Then there is the Leo Ring aka.
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Cosmic Horseshoe a cloud of hydrogen and helium gas, that orbits two galaxies found within this constellation. Based on Astraea from Greek mythology, the maiden was the last immortal to abandon Earth at the end of the Silver Age, when the gods fled to Olympus. They are also associated with the element of Earth and the ruling celestial body of Virgo is Mercury.
The brightest star in the Virgo constellation is Spica , a binary and rotating ellipsoidal variable — which means the two stars are so close together that they are egg-shaped instead of spherical — located between and light years from Earth. The primary is a blue giant and a variable star of the Beta Cephei type. The star 70 Virginis was one of the first planetary systems to have a confirmed exoplanet discovered orbiting it, which is 7.
The star Chi Virginis has one of the most massive planets ever detected, at a mass of The sun-like star 61 Virginis has three planets: one is a super-Earth and two are Neptune-mass planets. It is represented by the symbol of The Scales, which is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom and the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. Libra is part of the Seventh House — Uxor Spouse or House of Partnership, are associated with the element of Air, and the ruling celestial body is Venus. Alpha Libae is a double star consisting of an A3 primary star with a slight blue tinge and a fainter type F4 companion, both of which are located approximately 77 light years from our Sun.
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Beta Librae is the brighter of the two, and the brightest star in the Virgo constellation. This is a blue star of spectral type B8 but which appears somewhat greenish which is located roughly light years from Earth. It is an orange giant of magnitude 3. Libra is home to the star Gliese , which has a planetary system consisting of at least 6 planets. Both Gliese d and Gliese g are considered to be some of the most promising candidates for life. All of these exoplanets are of significance for establishing the likelihood of life outside of the Solar System. Libra is also home to one bright globular cluster, NGC It is a fairly large and loose cluster, has an integrated magnitude of 9, and is located 40, light-years from Earth.
Scorpio is represented by The Scorpion, which is based on Scorpius — a giant scorpion in Greek mythology sent by Gaia to kill Orion. Scorpio is part of the Eighth House — Mors Death , known today as the House of Reincarnation — and is associated with the element of Water.
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Traditionally, the ruling celestial body of Scorpio was Mars, but has since become Pluto. The Scorpius constellations includes many bright stars, the brightest being Alpha Scorpii aka. The Scorpius constellation, due to its position within the Milky Way , contains many deep-sky objects. The constellation is also where the Alpha Scorpiids and Omega Scorpiids meteor showers take place. The Alphas begin on or about April 16th and end around May 9th, with a peak date of most activity on or about May 3rd.
The second meteor shower, the Omega or June Scorpiids peaks on or about June 5th of each year. The radiant for this particular shower is closer to the Ophiuchus border and the activity rate on the peak date is high — with an average of about 20 meteors per hour and many reported fireballs. This symbol is based on the centaur Chiron, who according to Greek mythology mentored Achilles in the art of archery. Nunki is the oldest star name currently in use, having been assigned by the ancient Babylonians, and thought to represent the sacred Babylonian city of Eridu.
This is actually two star systems that share the same name, and both stars are actually discernible to the naked eye. The Milky Way is at its densest near Sagittarius, since this is the direction in which the galactic center lies. Consequently, Sagittarius contains many star clusters and nebulae.
This includes Messier 8 the Lagoon Nebula , an emission red nebula located 5, light years from Earth which measures by 60 light years. Though it appears grey to the unaided eye, it is fairly pink when viewed through a telescope and quite bright magnitude 3. The central area of the Lagoon Nebula is also known as the Hourglass Nebula, so named for its distinctive shape.
This nebula is fairly bright magnitude 6. NGC , a star forming region, is also associated with Sagittarius, located about light-years from Earth and showing both emission and reflection regions blue and red. This sign is based on Enki, the Sumerian primordial god of wisdom and waters who has the head and upper body of a mountain goat, and the lower body and tail of a fish. Capricorns are associated with the element Earth, and the ruling body body is Saturn. Deneb Algedi is a eclipsing binary star with a magnitude of 2.
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Its primary is a yellow-hued giant star of magnitude 3. Another visible star is Gamma Capricorni aka. Several galaxies and star clusters are contained within Capricornus. This includes Messier 30 NGC a centrally-condensed globular cluster of magnitude 7. Located approximately 30, light-years from our Sun, it cannot be seen with the naked eye, but has chains of stars extending to the north that can be seen with a telescope.
And then there is the galaxy group known as HCG 87 , a group of at least three galaxies located million light-years from Earth. It contains a large elliptical galaxy, a face-on spiral galaxy, and an edge-on spiral galaxy. For example, if a person was born on April 19, it might be difficult to determine if that person is really a Taurus or an Aries. If you were born on a cusp, an astrologer will need to know the latitude and longitude of the place where you were born as well as your exact time of birth.
These pieces of information will allow the astrologer to accurately calculate your sun sign. One thing you may have noticed is that sometimes when you look up your sun sign, you find a discrepancy in the range of dates used for your sign. These can differ from one or two days depending on the source you are using. This can create confusion, and some people might decide they aren't a particular zodiac sign after all. The zodiac is comprised of twelve signs , and each is assigned thirty degrees within a degree circle.
The sun moves through each sign's constellation. When you're born, where the sun is during that moment of birth determines which one is your sun sign. A range of dates for each sun sign is determined by the date the sun enters a zodiac sign's constellation and the date it leaves. The reason the range of dates can change is because the calendar cycle changes due to leap years.
Many astrologers use the current year's dates while others prefer to stick with the original fixed dates assigned to specific zodiac signs. Just because the dates are different from the ones you use doesn't make your sun sign invalid. You need to decide which method of determining your sun sign you wish to use and then stick with it.
Regardless what the current range of dates are, the only important thing is what the range was at the time of your birth. That determines your true sun sign.