Tools for determining the constellation of the zodiac


In ancient times, when people had no watch or calendar yet, they were guided by the movement of the sun and the stars. Different star clusters reminded them of animals or patterns, and so the constellation was named. Today, the starry sky (like a spherical surface) is divided into smaller areas with well-defined boundaries. These areas include specific stars, according to which these constellations were also named.



Skutočné dátumy znamení zverokruhu


Ecliptic is an imaginary line in the sky, over which the sun, moon and other planets move. The ecliptic passes through regions 12 of constellations, also called signs. The constellations of the signs seem to be shifting against the background of the sky due to the position of the sun during the year. Every month the sun is in a different sign. This resulted in the division of the year into 12 months.


Each month was given a fixed date when the sun enters and exits the sign. That is, a specific day for the beginning and end of the month. However, the signs (constellation areas) have different sizes in the sky, so each month has a different number of days. In fact, there is a 13th sign - Hades. His number of days is very small, so he was connected together with the shooter within one month.


The Earth's axis, which crosses the North and South Poles, is inclined by 23.5 degrees to the ecliptic. In the order of thousands of years, its position slowly changes (precession of the axis), causing another apparent movement of the signs with respect to the sun. In antiquity, when the first written mention of astronomy was made, the dates were given fixed dates. Since then, due to precession, there has been a significant shift in dates. In addition, the signs consist of stars that are located differently in space and their relative position changes relative to each other, so that the shapes and sizes of the signs also change very slowly.



true dates of zodiac ring


The figure above shows the actual distribution of the zodiac signs, calculated according to the astronomical boundaries for 2020. As mentioned above, the dates are gradually changing, so I did not specify the specific days either. However, this image should remain valid for the next 100 years.



zodiac ecliptic



As the date of the sign indicates the day of entry into that sign, the sun blinds us from the earth as we see our sign. Therefore, paradoxically, the best time to observe his sign is about half a year after the date of birth. For example, as seen above, from the Earth, the sign of a bull at the turn of May and March is covered by the sun. However, the best time to observe it in the sky is during November.



Dodecahedron - paper glowing zodiac


As a tool for learning signs I created a dodecéder of the zodiac. It is a twelve, with one sign depicted on each wall. The orientation of the constellations shown is valid for Slovakia and its surroundings. The stars that belong to a particular constellation are precisely defined, but the line-to-line connection is not exactly defined. So I chose the most used shapes.


dodecahedron zodiac


Template A4: zodiac.pdf




It is best to print the document with white toner on dark paper. So everything in the computer is black is printed in white ink.


glow colour


For a better effect, I added a phosphorescent luminous color to the stars.



svietiaca farba


Put a few drops into a bowl and soak the toothpick alternately into the color and make dots for the stars.



plášť papierového dodekaédru


Let the paint dry and cut the coat of dodecédre according to the lines.



paper dodecahedron


Gradually glue the individual walls together..



glowing dodecahedron zodiac


The light is enough to charge for a few seconds in the light and then shines for about half an hour in the dark.