Astrology and Birth Chart

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  • Owen

    Hi, according to Stellarium the sun today is in Sagittarius, which is strange
    because if your birthday was today you would be a Capricorn. According to
    Astrology, the sun is always in the constellation of your birth sign. I found
    this strange so I looked up my Gemini Birthday and found the sun to be in
    Taurus that day. Then I plotted my birthday in an online Astrological Birth
    Chart and when compared to Stellarium, all planets, the sun and the moon are
    shifted by the same amount. Does Stellarium know something the Astrologers
    don't know or vice versa? -o1

  • Matthew Gates
    Matthew Gates

    There is indeed a difference between the actual position of the Sun at a given
    time of year (as shown by Stellarium) and what Sun sign astrology says.
    Astrology seems to be unaware of an effect called precession. For a nice
    primer into this topic I recommend this

    I would also recommend watching this rather nice
    video which might also be
    enlightening on the matter.

  • Owen

    Oh good, that means I'm a Taurus

    This one is good:

  • Matthew Gates
    Matthew Gates

    As usual Sagan provides a
    nice look at the subject.

  • Erasmo Sesena
    Erasmo Sesena

    p1sound, astrologya its a pseudoscience, at the past, astronomy and astrlogy
    are together, but when the people began to see the sky qith the goal of study
    it, the astrnomy taka a road different, and birth a science. Astrology only
    want predict the future of persons, but its subjeive. when the zoodiac birth
    the sun was at aries, for this its are the first of twelve. the precession
    movement of the earth, its very slowly, so slowly tha we can't look it, its
    have a preiod of 25 800 years. 2600 years ago aproximately Ptoloeus invent the
    zodiac for predict the future of he king, very much time, and the rotation
    axis too move an change o the direction of the pointing at this time. Today
    the rotation axis pointing toward Polaris, for the future pointing toward
    Vega, at the lyra.

    Its for this reason tha stellarium have a different position for the sun,
    because stallarium are a very good simulator of the movement of sky.

    Regards Erasmo, sorry for my englis.

  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    Irrespective of whether astrology has any truth, both Bill Nye and Carl Sagan
    haven't done their homework.

    Astrologer use the signs of the zodiac, not the constellation_s. They are
    not the same thing. They neglect to mention this either through ignorance or
    deliberately to force their point. The signs are a _geomertrical
    based on the tropical zodiac which is tied to the seasons and therefore
    subject to precession.

    Stellarium does not depict the tropical zodiac - yet. Though it would be
    simple to implement as it would be a twelve-fold coordinate grid on the
    ecliptic in similar sense as the equatorial grid.

    • Khem Caigan
      Khem Caigan

      " would be simple to implement as it would be a twelve-fold coordinate grid on the ecliptic in similar sense as the equatorial grid."

      That would come in handy, for those of us dealing with the history of astronomy. Where would we find information on generating such an ecliptic grid?

      • Alexander Wolf
        Alexander Wolf

        You can just enable ecliptic grid in latest Stellarium


        • Anonymous

          Hi Alexander Wolf,
          I´m sorry, this is no article. I have a big problem, because I receive emails from stellarium:discussion and I never want any emails. I don´t know, where I can unsubsribe. Can you please tell me, where I can do it?

          Very much thanks,



  • Dear Martinlewicki, because of astrologers use the signs of the zodiac, and
    not the constellations, they are in contradiction with themselves. Astrology
    is based on the positions of sun and planets respect the stars background
    (i.e. constellations) at the time of the birth. Then, how do you explain that
    two people, one born in 21 march of year 0, and the other born in 21 march
    2000, can have, according tropical astrology, the same influence from stars
    (personality, etc), when clearly the sun was in different positions at both
    dates (Aries and Piscis)? Carl Sagan and Bill Nye are in the correct idea,
    while tropical astrology persits in an evident error, even if was true their
    postulates about influence of the stars (that is another story).

  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    Your criticism is true in that Western astrologers employ the precessing
    tropical zodiac of signs that is now offset from the original namesake
    constellation by some 25 degrees since 2000 years ago. By contrast Hindu
    (Vedic) astrology uses a static zodiac (non-precessing) that is still
    approximately superimposed over the original zodiacal constellations. Thus
    there is an offset between Western and Hindu zodiacs and thereby a dual
    designation of one's "sign", let alone the constellation.

    Note that neither Western nor Hindu astrology use zodiacal constellations.

    They have not done so since about the time of Ptolemy. And both are well aware
    the role precession plays. This is a widespread misconception that is all too
    often not understood by both astrologers and sceptics.

    It should also be noted that the tropical zodiac is a complete coordinate
    system that covers the entire sky. The signs are actually twelve-30 degree
    longitude slices running from the north to south ecliptic poles with the
    ecliptic as the "equator" of the system. (This is why I suggest that it would
    be easy to include the tropical zodiac coordinate system in Stellarium.)

    To illustrate the point. In this sense the sign Aries not only includes
    portions of the constellation Pisces but also part of Pegasus, Andromeda,
    Lacerta, Cephus up to Draco at the north ecliptic pole. In the southern
    direction it includes parts of Cetus, Eridanus, Horologium,Reticulum and
    Dorado at the south ecliptic pole. Thus a celestial object anywhere on the
    celestial sphere will fall into on of the 12 signs and have a zodiacal sign

    This is where Sagan and Nye are being mischievous (or uniformed) and use
    sloppy knowledge to make their point. In any case they only convince the
    converted (who also are probably no more educated on this issue than they

    In the end the only argument that is relevant is whether astrology works. This
    is determined by careful testing of astrologers and astrology under conditions
    that eliminate the effects of non-astrological factors and cues.


  • Morning Star
    Morning Star

    The fact remains that astrologers are not honest, when they referre to the
    names of the constallations, because it has nothing tot do with them. Their
    statemant: it is written in the stars is not true.

  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki


    It really should be "written in the planets (or) .signs" as standard astrology
    refers to planets in the signs. Except for a small contingency of astrologers
    that use specific fixed stars the standard horoscope contains no
    constellations or stars. That's why Western astrology is technically called
    tropical astrology.


  •  frikosal

    Dear Martinlewicki ,
    I guess now I'll be totally off-topic but very easily you can do statistical
    tests to show if there is some correlation between people dead in traffic
    accidents next week end and their birth dates. If, with enough data and using
    a double blind test (ie, you also study a group of people without accidents,
    without knowing yourself who is who) you can repeately prove there is such
    correlation, I will belive in astrology.
    I trust the existence of invisible exoplanets because a similar experiment is
    done with photometry of stars.

  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    Here's one similar.
    But a later study done in (by astrologers) for Sweden show different result
    that suggest seasonal (astrological?) effects with a demographic features.

    Since we are limited to one link per message I hope the moderator will allow
    me to post a couple more in the next two following messages.


  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    Before anyone does anything else you should go here
    regarding all scientific testing done to date. Not good news (for
    astrology...) but inlcudes suggestions for further testing.


  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    And the only rigorous and comprehensive massive study done on astrology and
    personality and professions still after 50 years that is yet to be
    satisfactorily explained away by non-astrological factors.

    So... will any programmers be willing to add the tropical zodiac overlay in
    Stellarium? At the very least it will serve to illustrate the differences and
    offsets between zodiacs.


  • james maloney
    james maloney

    The Sidereal Zodiac explains the movement of the soltices and equinoxes on the
    ecliptic line. Due to the earth spinning like a top these point shift 1% every
    72.2 years. The Tropical Zodiac does not take this movement into account.

  • Martin Lewicki
    Martin Lewicki

    It's the other way around.

    It is the tropical zodiac that is precessing (moving 1deg/72 years) , not the
    the sidereal zodiac.

  •  frikosal

    Dear Martinlewicki ,
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
    Astrology claims are really extraodinary. And I have spent some time browsing
    the data you linked and I found nothing extraordinary, or at least non-
    I remain skeptical. I like astronomy and dislike astrology.
    I wouldn't like to see any kind of astrology information in stellarium.

  • Matthew Gates
    Matthew Gates

    @frikosal There are features which are not strictly scientific in nature - the
    various sky cultures and sky culture artwork for example. We also hope to
    include more information about the various sky cultures in future.

    Rest assured we don't intend to make Stellarium into an astrology tool. I'm
    very sure Fabien has no such intentions, and he has the last say in most
    matters to do with the project. I would certainly resist it strongly.

    This is not to say to the astrology crowd that they can't develop their own
    features. With Stellarium being Free/Libre software, anyone is entitled to
    fork their own project from the Stellarium source and modify it as they see


  • barrykgerdes

    Thank you Matthew. I just opened this thread to say something similar but you
    beat me to it.
    Really I don't think this forum is the correct place to discus astrology.
    Stellarium is purely scientific and the only information that is included that
    could be any way linked to astrology is the historical value of how the
    ancients saw the stars not how they interpreted them.


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