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Online Trends

Published September 19th 2016

Written in the Stars: People Are Freaking Out About NASA “Changing” Their Star Signs

The Brandwatch React team looks at the data and debate behind recent stories that claim NASA is making edits to the zodiac star signs.

NASA has unintentionally angered astrologists in a bizarre uproar over changing star signs.

News has spread that 86% of people who thought they knew what their star sign was are now wrong. That means if you’ve got a zodiac sign tattoo you’re likely to be disappointed and it’s reportedly all NASA’s fault.

While NASA wants nothing to do with all this and doesn’t really care, people are seriously worried.

We took a look at the data and the debate to see just how much people are losing their minds over the story.

Universe changing

Let’s start at the beginning.

This all kicked off as strange reports were recently circulated that cited a NASA webpage aimed at children and published in January 2016.

They suggested that NASA had just revealed a zodiac sign left out of the usual twelve (Ophiuchus) and that the sky has shifted since the Babylonians invented the original twelve zodiac symbols, meaning that the dates when relevant constellations were aligned had changed.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-14-20-33

While trusting any website that features the Comic-Sans font is generally ill-advised, this is NASA and they’re generally accepted as pretty smart so what they actually said is worth a read. While it’s interesting, it’s nothing new and stories like this have been going around for a long time.

Despite this, Cosmopolitan (among other sites) took the information from the page (aimed at teaching children about the difference between astrology and astronomy) and posted a new calendar, featuring Ophiuchus and the new dates for other signs.

Capricorn January 20th – February 16th
Aquarius February 16th – March 11th
Pisces March 11th – April 18th
Aries April 18th – May 13th
Taurus May 13th – June 21st
Gemini June 21st – July 20th
Cancer July 20th – August 10th
Leo August 10th – September 16th
Virgo September 16th – October 30th
Libra October 30th – November 23rd
Scorpio November 23rd – November 29th
Ophiuchus November 29th – December 17th
Sagittarius December 17th – January 20th

“Oh yeah, let’s talk about ol’ Ophiuchus, shall we? NASA sneakily added a 13th zodiac sign a while back, like’s it no big thing. WELL. IT. IS,” writes Cosmo’s Charlotte Warwick.

The result? Well…

https://twitter.com/TalkToThaliah/statuses/777698873464815616

 

Despite the majority of star sign related conversation usually consisting of horoscopes and Vanessa Hudgens’ tweets, last week saw NASA as the central topic. Their official Twitter account was the top mentioned of the week in regard to star-sign related conversation.

nasa-topics

We’re guessing this isn’t exactly the sort of buzz NASA aims for.

Breaking it all down

Looking at star sign related mentions on Twitter this week, we found 70% of them were from female categorized authors.

Meanwhile, of all the star signs (including Ophiuchus), it was Leo and Cancer that were mentioned most over the last seven days.

star-signs-on-social

According to a ten-second Google search, Cancer traits include pessimism and spontaneity while Leos enjoy showing off. Maybe that’s why they’re being mentioned most as this earth-shattering news breaks.

Astronomy isn’t Astrology

As NASA point out in their short article, astronomy isn’t astrology. In their damning story, Gizmodo didn’t hold back when describing the spread of the “news”.

Just how this information was twisted into NASA attempting to retool the zodiac is still honestly pretty baffling. For now, just know that despite what you may have read out on the internet this week, NASA still has absolutely no interest in your zodiac sign.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty on NYFW. Email us react@brandwatch.com for more information

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