Zodiac  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Zodiac denotes an annual cycle of twelve stations or "signs" along the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens, dividing the ecliptic into twelve equal zones of celestial longitude. As such, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, more precisely an ecliptic coordinate system, taking the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.

It is known to have been in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid 1st millennium BC), which in turn derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zodiac" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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