Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts

Jonathan Cainer's Astro News
Friday October 3rd 2003
End of the Archers? by Bernard Fitzwalter

Many people seem to be worried by a recent news report about a dwarf galaxy called Sagittarius being gobbled up by the Milky Way. If you want to understand this, think of the zodiac signs as twelve windows in the sky, through which we watch the planets go by. The planets are just in the foreground; behind them, billions of miles away, are the stars which make up the constellations. Even further away are other objects including the all-but invisible galaxy that everyone's getting so excited about. It was only discovered in 1994 by people looking very carefully. Now, they think, it is being attracted to our own much bigger galaxy by gravitational forces, breaking up as it does so. But that's just what galaxies do over millions of years. None of it, I promise, makes any difference to Sagittarians. I think there is mischief in the way this news story has been worded to give the impression that we are about to lose a sign, thus making astrology collapse.

Jonathan adds; Actually, though, it nicely illustrates a point that Bernard and I keep trying to make. In astronomy, there are often several objects with the same or similar names. There's a galaxy called Sagittarius, a constellation called Sagittarius and a zodiac sign called Sagittarius. All three are crucially different.

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