Which stars were you really born under?

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1. What's your star sign?

A staggering 98% of people in the UK know the answer to this question. But did you know around 86% of us were actually born under a different constellation to our star sign?

The dates of the ‘star signs’ were fixed, over 2,000 years ago, when the zodiac was first devised. Then, they corresponded to the constellation of stars that appeared behind the Sun on the day you were born. But an astronomical phenomenon, known as precession, means that the constellations have drifted since then. So which stars were you actually born under?

2. INTERACTIVE: Find your constellation

Click the hand below and scroll to your birth date to discover your astronomical star sign.

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This is the constellation that was actually sitting behind the Sun on the day you were born. And for most of us, that's not the same as our astrological star signs.

3. Why your stars don't match your star sign

Watch the clip below to find out what's been happening in the heavens.

Clip from Stargazing Live (BBC Two)

4. The 13th sign?

The astronomical zodiac actually contains 13 constellations – the 12 that we’re familiar with plus another one, called Ophiuchus.

Ophiuchus was deliberately left out of the original zodiac, over 2000 years ago, even though the Sun clearly passes in front of it after passing in front of Scorpius (commonly known as Scorpio) and before reaching Sagittarius. The reason for this is not known, but it may be because ancient astrologers wanted to divide the 360 degree path of the Sun in a mathematically pleasing way – 12 equal parts, each one of 30 degrees.

However the true boundaries that divide the constellations, as described by the International Astronomical Union, are far from equal. For example Ophiuchus is behind the Sun for a full 19 days of the year. That’s 12 days more than its neighbour, Scorpius.

So if you were born between 30 November and 18 December, why not claim yourself a totally new star sign?