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8 votes

How did the ancients know the constellation in which the sun is located?

They made star maps. They mapped the positions of stars on the imaginary celestial sphere - which they thought was an actual physical hollow sphere surrounding the Earth at some distance. Because the ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
7 votes

Is the equinox Sun always at the same zodiac sign in the ecliptic belt?

As you said, the Sun takes a year to cycle the Zodiac, and it takes a year between two spring or autumn equinoxes. Both statements are true, but "year" in them means two different things. It takes a ...
Pere's user avatar
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7 votes

How many of the whole zodiac constellations can be seen in one single night?

Running a simulation in Stellarium, on March 21st, you can just about see Pisces at about 7pm, but it is setting, and at 5am Aquarius is just rising, before being hidden by the sun. The sun is "in ...
James K's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Why do zodiac constellations not look like their names?

In some cases, constellations don’t look like their names because they were completely mistranslated by Greek astronomers from Mesopotamian constellations. One of these is Pegasus, the Flying Horse. ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
6 votes

Why do zodiac constellations not look like their names?

Who says they don't? Surely it just depends on how you play "join the dots"? The human brain will make out patterns where it wishes and what things look like is largely in the eye of the ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Why isn't the constellation of that month's zodiac prominent or even visible during that month?

The Zodiac sign of a month is decided by the month when the Sun is "in" that sign from the point of view of Earth. (See Mike G's comment below - because of the precession of the Earth, ...
sforsingh's user avatar
  • 1,443
5 votes

Are any of the zodiac stars about to go supernova anytime soon?

I don't really know what you mean by "Zodiac stars". I suppose you mean the stars of the 12 traditional Zodiac constellations. Alpha Scorpii, known as Antares, or Jyeshtha in Hindu astrology,...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
5 votes
Accepted

What are the RAs of the boundaries between traditional zodiacal signs?

TL;DR: Calculating the right ascension (i.e. converting from ecliptic to equatorial coordinates) requires some spherical trigonometry, but fortunately there are internet tools that will do this, such ...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten's user avatar
4 votes

What is meant by sun's path through zodiac

The stars are not visible during the day, but they are still there (we just can't see them because of the brightness of the sun). We can't see the stars, but we can calculate where they would be if we ...
James K's user avatar
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4 votes

Simple rule to find some of the zodiac constellations after sunset?

This is far too complicated. You can find any asterism in the sky far more simply by remembering its shape and its position relative to other (perhaps brighter) constellations. For the Zodiac ...
James K's user avatar
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4 votes

How many of the whole zodiac constellations can be seen in one single night?

Depends on you considered as "see an astrological sign", because the constellations are pretty big and are not always on top of the elliptic or in their 30º spot of it. Scorpius for example is a bit ...
Eduardo Trápani's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Why are there 12 zodiac signs?

The division of the sky into 30-degree gores was Babylonian. The naming of each gore by a particular constellation came later. The Babylonian number system worked in multiples and factors of 60, so ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
4 votes

Are any of the zodiac stars about to go supernova anytime soon?

I assume that by "zodiac stars or the stars of lunar mansions" you're referring to visible stars that are within 8° or so of the ecliptic, since that's the ecliptic latitude range where the ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
  • 15k
3 votes

What is this drawing about in "kitab al bulhan"?

The central part of the diagram looks like it's illustrating the obliquity of the ecliptic. My guess is that the main vertical line is the ecliptic and the curve shows the declination of the Sun. From ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
  • 15k
3 votes

On other planets, does the sun appear to pass through the same zodiac constellations?

Even from Earth, the Sun passes through non-zodiac constellations (if you use IAU constellation boundaries) It spends more time in Ophiuchus than in Scorpio, for instance. From Mercury, the Sun path ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
3 votes

Why do zodiac constellations not look like their names?

I think the reverse question can be asked with the same reasoning: how does it come the zodiac constellations actually show fish, cancer etc. At least they didn't change significantly in historic ...
planetmaker's user avatar
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3 votes
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Based on March equinox, when is the time that the sun enters Taurus?

Guy Ottewell makes a comprehensive Astronomical Calendar each year. From the 2020 edition: ...
Mike G's user avatar
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2 votes

What is meant by sun's path through zodiac

As the question is pointing out, because of Earth's thick atmosphere we have quite a bright sky, and so we can not easily see stars during the day. So how can we talk about the position of the Sun ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
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Right Ascension to Zodiac House

Zodiac signs are equal 30° divisions of the ecliptic. In the Western tropical zodiac, these are linked to the equinoxes and solstices, and named after the nearest constellations at the time ...
Mike G's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

What is the exact time of sun stay in each zodiac every year on sidereal year duration?

A sidereal zodiac is not the same as the IAU constellations but corresponds more closely to them than the Western tropical zodiac does, e.g. the eastern edge of Virgo remains near Spica despite ...
Mike G's user avatar
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2 votes

Is the equinox Sun always at the same zodiac sign in the ecliptic belt?

The equinoxes are where the ecliptic crosses the equator. As the Earth's axis and equatorial plane pivot under precession, the equinox points migrate westward along the ecliptic, 360° in 25800 ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
2 votes

Based on what a month determined as of a certain zodiac constellation?

The key coordinate is the Sun's geocentric ecliptic longitude: 0° at the March equinox, 90° at the June solstice, 180° at the September equinox, and 270° at the December solstice. The ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
2 votes

Why do zodiac constellations not look like their names?

One point not made clearly above. With unpolluted dark skies many more stars were routinely visible. Today we are often looking at just the brightest handful of 20 or 30 stars that make up a figure.
Steve Linton's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Position of the Sun in the constellation Pisces around the year 1500

The position of the sun, relative to the stars, at the time of the equinox changes slowly and predictably. This means that we know to a high degree of precision exactly where the sun was at the time ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
1 vote

Star Constellations: The Zodiac

Here is a slightly older blog post with a slightly crisper version of that image. A higher resolution version with month labels appears in a 2019 SyFy article and in various blogs dating back to 2014 ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
1 vote

Based on what a month determined as of a certain zodiac constellation?

What is the astronomical logic in it? Based largely on what Wikipedia says about the history of the zodiac it seems that the choice was made by Babylonian astronomers (and astronomy and astrology ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote

How many of the whole zodiac constellations can be seen in one single night?

You don't clarify whether you must see the whole constellation or perhaps seeing any star of the constellation suffices. Right now, 07 April 2020, 14:58:21 UTC, at $65^{\mathrm{o}} 38' 55.14'' \...
Eric Towers's user avatar
1 vote

What is the great (platonic?) year?

Only since February 2018 there is a Wikipedia Page about the Great Year which is indeed a good read, but I think the German wiki version has a more concise summary, here an (approximate) translation ...
B--rian's user avatar
  • 5,626
1 vote

What is meant by sun's path through zodiac

The diagram above shows the celestial sphere - an imaginary sphere with the Earth at its center (the sky all around the Earth). The equator of the Earth, projected onto the sky, therefore onto this ...
jmarina's user avatar
  • 249
1 vote

Is the equinox Sun always at the same zodiac sign in the ecliptic belt?

Terminology is critical. As mentioned in other answers, precession causes the equinoxes (the points where the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator) to move from one constellation to another. For ...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar

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