The Alpha star, called Algedi, meaning goat or ibex, is actually two
stars each visible without magnification. Capricornus constellation is
the 40th biggest constellation in the sky, and it is located in the
fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere. The constellation is visible
to all observers on both hemispheres and can be seen at latitudes
between +60° and -90°. Capricornus is bordered by Aquarius, Microscopium, Aquila, Sagittarius and Pisces Austrinus constellations.
Like other zodiac constellations, Capricorn was originally catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.
Right Ascension: 09:06
Diameter (°): 18
Area (square °): 414
Opposition: Aug 06
Size Rank: 40th
Brightness Rank: 43rd
Major stars in Capricornus
Deneb Algedi – δ Capricorni (Delta Capricorni)
Dabih – β Capricorni (Beta Capricorni)
Algedi – α2 Capricorni (Alpha2 Capricorni)
Alshat – ν Capricorni (Nu Capricorni)
Nashira – γ Capricorni (Gamma Capricorni)
ζ Capricorni (Zeta Capricorni)
Dorsum – θ Capricorni (Theta Capricorni)
Baten Algiedi – ω Capricorni (Omega Capricorni)
ψ Capricorni (Psi Capricorni)
Deep Sky Objects in Capricornus
Messier 30 (NGC 7099)
Mythology of the Constellation Capricornus
Capricorn is the tenth member of the zodiac, receiving the Sun in
January and February. The constellation Capricornus is situated south of
the Dolphin and next to Sagittarius.
Capricornus is said to be Pan or Bacchus. Along with some other
deities, he was feasting near the banks of the Nile when suddenly the
dreadful giant Typhon roared up and compelled them to assume different
shapes in order to escape his fury.
Pan led the plunge into the Nile. The part of his body under water
assumed the form of a fish while the other part assumed that of a goat
with little horns and a goat-like beard. But before we say how his new
metamorphosed shape preserved the memory of this adventure, let us look
first at Pan.
Pan is derived from a Greek word signifying all things. He was often
considered as the great principal of vegetable and animal life. He
resided chiefly in Arcadia, in the woods and the most rugged mountains.
Pan usually was terrified of the inhabitants of the adjacent country,
even when they were nowhere to be seen. That kind of fear, which often
seizes people in response to only an imaginary threat, was the source of
the word “panic”.
Some say this constellation was the goat Amalthea, who supported the
infant Zeus with her milk. To reward her kindness, the father of the
gods placed her among the constellations and gave one of her horns to
the nymphs who had taken care of him in his infancy. This gift was ever
after called Cornucopia or, the horn of plenty, since it possessed the
virtue of imparting to the holder whatever he desired.
Going back, when Capricorn was born (that is, when Pan emerged in his
new form as Capricorn), he surfaced to find Zeus in great trouble in
Typhon’s storm. Typhon was trying to tear off Zeus’s arms and legs when
Capricorn, still possessed of Pan’s pipes, blew a shrill note. The note
was so shrill, Typhon had to flee to escape the pain piercing his ears,
leaving all the commotion of battle as well as Capricorn’s continuous
blowing of Pan’s pipe.
Mercury swept down from Olympus. Stopping himself with the wings on
his feet, he pulled Zeus back together again. Zeus retreated and flew
back home to Olympus, gathered an armload of thunderbolts, and went
after Typhon. Typhon escaped underground, from whence he came. There he
remains except for the times when he comes back as a sea storm to
threaten boats and islands with extinction.
In thanksgiving for his rescue, Zeus raised the new Pan into the
stars where he lives in his constellation, Capricorn, between Aquarius and Sagittarius low in the southern horizon.
Known as Azazel, the scapegoat, in the Book of Leviticus, Capricorn
has been assigned to Simon, the Apostle. In the Hebrew zodiac according
to the Encyclopedia Judaica, Capricorn is ascribed to the tribe of Dan.
Sun Enters: December 25
Sun Leaves: January 19
Positives: Ambitious, reliable, loyal, patient,
persevering, disciplined, headstrong
Negatives: Rigid outlook, miserly, conventional,
exacting, merciless, mean
As a Child: Dominates others
Plant: Poplar tree
Emotional: A loner
Career: Civil servant, engineer