The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south of the ecliptic. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, it is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude. Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
About Zodiac in brief
The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south of the ecliptic. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, it is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The zodiac was in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period, which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the eCliptic, as described in Ptolemy’s vast 2nd century AD work, the Almagest. The term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology. It remains the basis of the e Cliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one, but the term is now mostly used in astrology to refer to a specific planet or star. In Babylonian astronomical diaries, a planet was generally given a position with respect to a zodiacal sign, often in specific degrees within a sign. In the Babylonian ephemerides, the positions of the planets were expressed with the reference to the 360° of the sign, i.e.
to the sign of the Sun at the vernal equinox. Unlike modern astronomers, who place the beginning of the. sign of Aries at the place of the sun at the equinox, Babylonian astronomers fixed the. zodiac in relation to stars, placing Cancer at the. beginning of Aquarius at the \”Rear Star of the Goat-Fish\”. Due to the precession of the equ inoxes, the time of year the Sun is in a given constellation has changed since Babylonian times, the point of vernale equin Rox. has moved from Aries into Pisces, and Cancer into Cancer. Because the division was made into equal arcs, each, they constituted an ideal system of reference for making predictions about a planet’s longitude. They measured the position of a planet in reference to a set of stars close to the e cliptic as observational reference to help a planet positioning within this eclptic system. The English word zodiac derives from zōdiacus, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek zōidiakòs kýklos, meaning “cycle or circle of little animals’”. The name reflects the prominence of animals among the 12 signs. The term may also refer to the band that contains the path of that particular body; e. g., the \”zodiac of a given planet is the band of 5° above and below the e Clipsic.