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  Wikipedia: Capricornus

Wikipedia: Capricornus
Capricornus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Capricornus
   
larger map
AbbreviationCap
GenitiveCapricorni
Meaning in Englishthe Goat or Sea-Goat
Right ascension21 h
Declination-20°
Visible to latitudeBetween 60° and -90°
Best visibleSeptember
Area
 - Total
Ranked 40th
414 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
1
Brightest star
 - Apparent magnitude
Deneb Algedi (δ Cap)
3.0
Meteor showers
  • Alpha Capricornids
  • Chi Capricornids
  • Sigma Capricornids
  • Tau Capricornids
  • Capricorniden-
    Sagittariids
Bordering constellations

Capricornus is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is commonly called Capricorn, especially in astrology. It represents a horned goat, although it is commonly called the sea-goat. Capricornus is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy. Under its modern boundaries it is bordered by Aquila, Sagittarius, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus and Aquarius.

Notable features

This constellation is the dimmest in the zodiac besides Cancer. Its brighter stars are found on a triangle whose vertices are Giedi (α), Deneb Algedi (δ), and ω Capricorni.

History

This constellation is one of the oldest to have been identified, possibly the oldest, despite its dimness. Depictions of a goat or goat-fish have been found on Babylonian tablets dating back three thousand years. The constellation may owe its antiquity to the fact that at that time, the northern hemisphere's Winter Solstice occurred while the sun was in Capricorn. The concern for the sun's rebirth might have rendered astronomical and astrological observation of this region of space very important.

For the same reason, the sun's most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere's winter solstice, is called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on earth where the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice.

Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in Capricorn, but the astrological period called Capricorn begins at approximately the same time as the solstice.

The planet Neptune was discovered in this constellation by German astronomer Johann Galle, near Deneb Algedi (δ Capricorni) on September 23, 1846.

Mythology

This constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother Rhea saved him from being devoured by his father Cronos in Greek mythology. The goat's broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. Some ancient sources claim that this derives from the sun "taking nourishment" while in the constellation, in preparation for its climb back northward.

However, the constellation is often depicted as a sea-goat, a goat with a fish's tail. One myth that deals with this says that when the goat-god Pan was attacked by the monster Typhon, he dove into the Nile; the parts above the water remained a goat, but those under the water transformed into a fish.

In Sumeria, the constellation was associated with the god Ea or Enki, who brought culture out of the sea to humankind.

The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or Water, consisting of many watery constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.

Astrology

The astrological sign Capricorn (December 22-January 19) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Capricorn is associated with the classical element Earth, and thus called an Earth Sign (with Taurus and Virgo). Its polar opposite is Cancer.


Constellations of the zodiac : Aries -- Taurus -- Gemini -- Cancer -- Leo -- Virgo -- Libra -- Scorpius -- (Ophiuchus) -- Sagittarius -- Capricornus -- Aquarius -- Pisces

  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona