The Constellations of the Zodiac The zodiac is an imaginary band 18 degrees wide and centered on the ecliptic. The constellations that fall in the zodiac are called the 12 constellations of the zodiac . They were at one time thought to have great mystical and astrological significance. Astrology is bunk, but the constellations of the zodiac are still of importance because the planets, as well as the Sun and Moon, are all near or on the ecliptic at any given time; thus, they are always found within one of the zodiac constellations. Constellations in Modern Astronomy In modern astronomy, the significance of constellations is no longer mythological, but practical: constellations define imaginary regions of the sky, just as the individual states each define an imaginary region of the United States. Thus, to say that a planet is in the constellation Leo is to partially locate the planet on the celestial sphere, just as saying that Knoxville is in Tennessee is to partially locate the city on the surface of the Earth. As for states, modern constellations have
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.