Constellations > Capricorn

Capricorn is a constellation located in the southern sky. Its name “Capricornus” is derived from Latin, which translates as “goat”.

It is part of the zodiac group (12 signs of the zodiac). Refers to one of the weak constellations. Together with the rest of the group, he was listed in the second century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy. The story is connected with two myths: the deity Pan and the goat Almatea, who fed little Zeus. The constellation contains several famous stars, as well as the globular cluster Messier 30.

Constellation capricorn

An objectDesignationMeaning of the nameObject typeMagnitude
1M30NoGlobular cluster7.20
2Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorn)“Goat s tail”Binary star system2.91
3Dabih (Beta Capricorn)“Butcher”Multiple star system3.05
4Alpha2 Capricorn“Kid”Yellow giant3.58
5Nashira (Gamma Capricorn)“Happy”Blue-white giant3.67
6Zeta CapricornNoDouble star3.77
7Dorsum (Theta Capricorn)“The back of a goat”White dwarf4.08
eightOmega Capricorn“The belly of a goat”Red giant4.12
ninePsi CapricornNoYellow and white dwarf4.13
tenAlpha1 Capricorn“Kid”Binary star system4.27
elevenIota CapricornNoYellow giant4.28
12Nude capricorn“Sheep”Double star4.77

Facts, position and map

With an area of ​​414 square degrees, the constellation Capricorn is the 40th largest constellation. Located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ4). It can be found at latitudes between + 60 ° and -90 °. Neighbors with Aquarius, Microscope, Sagittarius, Southern Fish, Pisces and Eagle.

Capricorn
Lat. titleCapricornus
ReductionCap
SymbolCapricorn
Right ascensionfrom 20h 00m up to 21h 52m
Declination-28 ° to -9 °
Square414 sq. degrees
(40th place)
The brightest stars
(value <3m)
  • Deneb Algiedi (δ Cap) – 2.87m
Meteor showers
  • Capriconids-Sagittarids
  • Chi-Capricornids
  • Sigma Capricornids
  • Tau Capricornids
  • Alpha Capricornids
Nearby constellations
  • Aquarius
  • Eagle
  • Sagittarius
  • Microscope
  • Southern Fish
The constellation is visible in latitudes from + 62 ° to -90 °.
The best time to watch is July, August.

Capricorn is home to three stars with planets, as well as Messier 30 (M30, NGC 7099). The brightest star is Delta Capricorn. There are also 5 meteor showers: Alpha Capricornids, Chi Capricornids, Sigma Capricornids, Tau Capricornids, and Capricornids-Sagitarids. Refers to the zodiac family, where you can also find Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius and Pisces. Look at the picture of the constellation Capricorn in the star chart.

Constellation capricorn

Myth

Although Capricorn is the second weakest after Cancer, its history goes back to the 21st century BC. It began with the Sumerians and Babylonians. The Sumerians called him a goat-fish (SUHUR-MASH-HA – “goat fish”). In the early Bronze Age, the constellation marked the moment of the winter solstice. Moreover, in modern astrology, it still begins on the first day of winter.

The Greeks saw in him the forest deity Pan with goat horns and hooves. He also had a son, Crotus, who was attributed to the constellation Sagittarius. Pan rescued and saved the gods of Olympus several times, so Zeus thanked him. He distinguished himself in the war with the Titans, when he frightened them by blowing into his shell. Later, he warned of the approach of the monster Typhon, and also suggested that the gods disguise themselves as animals in the most dangerous moments.

There is also a myth as to why Pan looks so strange. He himself had to run away from the monster, so he wanted to turn into a fish and hide in the Nile. But the transformation was only half completed, after which the monster grabbed him.

Sometimes in the guise of Capricorn they see the goat Almatea, who nursed Zeus the baby when his mother hid him from Crohn (father), who killed all the children. According to the prophecy, the child was supposed to overthrow his father, which happened in the end.

Main stars

Explore the bright stars of the zodiacal constellation Capricorn with detailed descriptions, photos and characteristics.

Deneb Algedi (Delta of Capricorn) is a four-star system, 39 light years distant. The brightest star Delta Capricorn A is a white giant, spectral class A. It is 8.5 times brighter than the Sun. It is a spectroscopic eclipsing binary star. The companion rotates with the giant around a common center every 1.023 days, due to which the star s luminosity decreases by 0.2 magnitudes during eclipses.

This is a Delta Shield type variable (brightness changes due to radial and non-radial pulsations of the surface). It is believed that two more stars rotate in the system. Delta Capricorn C is a 16th magnitude star in 1 arc minute, and Delta Capricorn D is 13 magnitude, located 2 arc minutes from the main star.

Overall, it is the brightest star in the constellation with an apparent visual magnitude of 2.85. Traditional names: Deneb Algedi – from the Arabic ðanab al-jady, which means “goat s tail”. It is located near the ecliptic and can be covered by the Moon and planets.

Dabih (Beta Capricorn) is a star system 328 light years away, located near the ecliptic. Presents Beta 1 Capricorn (brighter with an apparent magnitude of 3.05) and Beta 2 Capricorn (apparent magnitude 6.09). They are 3.5 arc minutes (0.34 light years) distant and complete their orbit every 700,000 years.

Mercury and Venus are visible along with Gamma and Delta of Capricorn (right).

Mercury and Venus are visible along with Gamma and Delta of Capricorn (right).

Both are composed of multiple stars. Beta 1 contains at least 3 components. The brightest is an orange K-type giant with an apparent magnitude of 3.08. The second (most powerful) is a blue-white B-type main sequence dwarf, with a magnitude of 7.20. They are separated by 0.05 arc seconds, and make one revolution in 3.77 years. The second has an invisible satellite orbiting every 8.7 days.

Beta-2 Capricorn is a binary star, represented by an A0-class giant with a magnitude of 6.1 (40 times brighter than the Sun), and a mercury-manganese star 3 arc seconds away.

Dabih is the second brightest star in Capricorn. The traditional name comes from the Arabic al-dhābiḥ – “butcher”.

Algidi (Alpha Capricorn) is an optical binary star. Its name comes from the Arabic al-jady – “goat”. Consists of two star systems: Alpha-1 Capricorn and Alpha-2 Capricorn, distant 0.11 degrees in the sky.

Algidi (Alpha Capricorn)

Algidi (Alpha Capricorn)

Alpha-1 Capricorn is a binary star 690 light years distant. It is represented by a yellow G-type supergiant with a magnitude of 4.30 and a companion with a magnitude of 8 and a distance of 0.65 arc seconds.

Alpha-2 Capricorn is a yellow G-type giant, 109 light years distant. It has a magnitude of 3.58 and is the brighter of the two components.

Gamma Capricorn is a blue-white A-type giant, 139 light years distant. The name is translated from Arabic as “bearer of good news.” Apparent magnitude 3.69. Located close to the ecliptic. The brightness changes by 0.03 magnitudes. It is classified as a variable type alpha-2 Hounds Dogs (strong magnetic fields).

Zeta Capricorn is a double star, represented by a yellow G-type supergiant and a white dwarf. It has an apparent magnitude of 3.77 and a distance of 398 light years. The brighter component is a barium star with an excess of praseodymium.

Dorsum (Theta Capricorn) is an A-type main sequence white dwarf about 158 ​​light years distant. Apparent visual magnitude 4.08. It is translated from Latin as “back (of a goat)”.

Omega Scorpio is an M-type red giant, about 630 light years distant. The name is translated from Arabic as “belly of a goat”. The apparent magnitude is 4.12. It is a variable star with regular variations in brightness and magnitude.

Psi Capricorn is a yellow-white giant of spectral class F5 V. It is located at a distance of 47.9 light years and has an apparent magnitude of 4.15.

Celestial objects

Messier 30 (NGC 7099) is a globular cluster about 28,000 light years distant. It is approximately 90 light years in diameter.

Messier 30

Messier 30

The cluster is approaching us at a speed of 181.9 km / s. It was one of the first deep space objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. Spectral type – F3. It is relatively dense and belongs to a concentration class V. The brightest stars are red giants with a magnitude of 12.

Like Messier 15, Messier 7, and many other globular clusters in the Milky Way, M30 has survived a core collapse. Now it is only 0.12 arc minutes in size, and half of the cluster s mass is in a spherical radius that is 17.4 light years wide. M30 can be seen even with weak telescopes.

You have the opportunity to study the zodiacal constellation Capricorn more closely if you use not only our photos, but 3D models and an online telescope. For an independent search, a map of the starry sky is suitable.


Constellations of the autumn sky

SeptemberEagle Capricorn Swan Dolphin Small Horse Indian Microscope Peacock Arrow Chanterelle
OctoberAquarius Cepheus Crane Lizard Octant Pegasus Southern Fish
NovemberAndromeda Cassiopeia Phoenix Fish Sculptor Toucan
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