Have you ever heard people refer to themselves as Capricorns or Scorpios? If you’ve ever WONDERed what in the world they were talking about, read on. Today’s Wonder of the Day takes a closer look at the zodiac!

The zodiac got its start thousands of years ago with Babylonian astronomers. These early astronomers looked to map the stars in the sky to create an agricultural calendar that would determine when crops should be planted and harvested based upon the natural rising and setting of particular stars and/or constellations.

Based upon the Sun’s path across the sky over the course of the year — called the ecliptic — early astronomers developed an early celestial coordinate system that based latitude upon the ecliptic and longitude on the position of the Sun at the vernal equinox. They then divided the celestial sphere into 12 divisions of longitude. We call these 12 divisions the 12 signs of the zodiac.

The zodiac spread to other cultures, including the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, the word zodiac comes from the Greek word zoidiakos, which means “little animal sign.” This makes sense since several of the signs of the zodiac are based upon animals.

Today, the zodiac is associated mainly with astrology rather than astronomy. Whereas astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects, space and the physical universe, astrology is more of an art. Astrology can be described as a collection of beliefs and traditions that focus on how the movement of the stars and planets relate to human events on Earth.

Astrologists study the movement of the stars and planets and predict how those movements might affect human behavior. Everyone’s birthday is associated with a particular zodiac sign, and astrologists believe that predictions can be made about a person’s personality based upon the location and movement of the stars and planets at the time of their birth.

While many people believe in astrology, many people do not think that the movement of the stars and planets has anything to do with life on Earth. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, it can still be fun to learn about the zodiac.

The 12 signs of the zodiac and their symbols are as follows:

  • Aries — the ram
  • Taurus — the bull
  • Gemini — the twins
  • Cancer — the crab
  • Leo — the lion
  • Virgo — the maiden
  • Libra — the scales
  • Scorpio — the scorpion
  • Sagittarius — the archer
  • Capricorn — the sea goat
  • Aquarius — the water bearer
  • Pisces — the fish

Many of the signs of the zodiac come from identifiable constellations that fall within their particular celestial division of the zodiac.

16 Join the Discussion

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  1. Hi there ! Sorry I haven’t been all this week. I had a sleepover at my temple. It’s a retreat. And I love today’s wonder !! I have always been curious about this! My zodiac sign is a taurus. I wonder what is yours.

    • Welcome back, Ky Duyen Quang! We hope you had a great time at your temple retreat- what a fantastic way to spend time with friends! It sounds like a great event! :)

      Thank you for visiting us to Wonder all about the zodiac signs! Isn’t it interesting? We Wonder if your sign, taurus, describes you? Do you agree with the personality of the sign? :)

      Wonderopolis’ zodiac sign is libra, known for being a “thinker”! That sure is true for Wonderopolis, we’re always thinking and WONDERing! We’ll see you soon, Wonder Friend! :)

  2. Hi! My zodiac sign is a Cancer. I think you should do a wonder about What is your favorite band? Thank you for today’s wonder! :) ;)

    • That’s awesome- we love learning about our Wonder Friends’ signs, Berkleigh! As you know we are always looking for the next awesome Wonder! We are glad you shared your idea with us! Thanks for being a stellar Wonder Friend! Have a great time with your dad on Fathers Day tomorrow! :)

  3. Movies. That’s what I think tomorrow’s wonder is about. My aunt is currently at our house with a dog. His name is Coby, but I like to call him Sofa. My aunt’s name is Christy. They will be here until Father’s Day afternoon.

    TJ :)

    • Thanks for filling us in, TJ, we are getting to know you better each day! We Wonder if you have a favorite movie to watch? How about a favorite place to watch movies? We think you’re on the right track for the next Wonder of the Day! :)

      We hope you have fun spending quality time with your Aunt Christy, her dog (Sofa :-) ) and your family! :)

    • Hey Victoria! Thanks for sharing! What did you learn about being a Gemini? Do you remember from the Wonder what that sign stands for? Keeping WONDERing! :)

  4. Hello Wonderopolis,me again.I am just throwing something out there totally off topic but,I am making a theme park in Minecraft named WonderWorld,some areas are based off Wonderopolis Wonders.Can I use this for some theming?Thank You.

    • Welcome back, Graham! We think that’s VERY COOL that you are creating a WONDER World in Minecraft. We would be honored for you to use parts of the Wonder for your world! Thanks for asking. :)

    • Thanks for sharing your comment with us, Fallon! It sounds like you have a birthday coming up in the next month or two! Happy early birthday! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What’s your zodiac sign?
  • What are the names of the 12 zodiac signs?
  • What does your zodiac sign say about you?

Wonder Gallery

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Try It Out

What’s your sign? Grab a friend or family member and check out one or more of the following activities together:

  • People seem to be fascinated with predictions about the future, especially when it comes to events that might happen to them personally. It’s only natural. You’re probably a bit curious about what the future holds for you in the coming days, weeks, and months. One tried and true predictor of the future happens to be a tasty dessert that we learned about in a previous Wonder of the Day. So go back in time to learn more about your future when you explore Can Fortune Cookies Predict the Future?
  • So what do the stars say about your personality? Do you know your zodiac sign? Grab a friend or family member and jump online to check out What Is My Sign. Just enter your birthday and the site will tell you your zodiac sign. Do you agree with the characteristics that supposedly go along with your zodiac sign? If you’re like most people, some of the descriptions may fit you, while others do not. You can also find out the names of other famous people with the same zodiac sign. Who do you share a sign with? Do you think you’re like those people? Why or why not?
  • Could you write a horoscope? Why not? Your guesses about behavior are just as good as anyone else’s, right? Take some time today to think about a couple of different friends or family members. Write a horoscope for each of them, predicting what types of adventures they might encounter in the coming days, weeks, or months. Share your predictions with them and then keep track to see how many, if any, actually come true. You never know! Maybe you’ll have a future as a horoscope writer or even a fortune teller!

Still Wondering

In EDSITEment!’s Animals of the Chinese Zodiac lesson, children learn about the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Test Your Knowledge

Wonder What’s Next?

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