4
$\begingroup$

Say Barry, could you abuse the answer-your-own-question feature of this site, and answer the following question:

As noted in How many constellations in the Zodiac? the ecliptic itself touches 13 constellations, but the Encylopedia Brittanica defines the Zodiac as "a belt around the heavens extending 9 [degrees] on either side of the ecliptic":

http://www.britannica.com/topic/zodiac

The Old Farmer's Almanac for 2014 (and previous years) notes (page 114) that Moon occasionally crosses into 5 "non-Zodiac" constellations at times:

enter image description here

So, exactly which constellations are "in the Zodiac" if the Zodiac extends 9 degrees on either side of the ecliptic?

And why 9 degrees? I know Venus can be as much as 8.25 degrees from the ecliptic,

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

While I can't answer the 9 degrees part, http://www.space.com/5417-ecliptic-zodiac-work.html notes, the band of the zodiac actually passes through 22 constellations:

In fact, as pointed out by the well-known astronomical calculator, Jean Meeus, along with Ophiuchus, there are nine other constellations that occasionally can be visited by the Moon and planets: Auriga, the Charioteer; Cetus, the Whale; Corvus, the Crow; Crater, the Cup; Hydra, the Water Snake; Orion, the Hunter; Pegasus, the Flying Horse; Scutum, the Shield; and Sextans, the Sextant.

So in truth, there really aren't twelve zodiacal constellations, but twenty-two!

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy