Capricorn constellation

capricorn constellation

La Capricorn constellation It has significant importance as one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac and is among the 88 modern constellations. Located within the zodiac, specifically within the region of the celestial sphere defined by the path of the Sun in the sky known as the ecliptic, is where the constellation of Capricorn is located.

In this article we are going to tell you what the characteristics, origin and much more of the Capricorn constellation are.

Characteristics of the Capricorn constellation

constellations in the sky

Capricorn, one of the zodiac constellations, is located between Aquarius and Sagittarius. Adjacent to Capricorn, we have the Eagle (Aquila), the Microscope (Microscopium) and the Southern Fish (Piscis Austrinus).

Capricorn, like the other constellations of the zodiac, has been recognized since ancient times. It is included in modern constellations, but Its existence is already recorded in Ptolemy's Almagest, an astronomical work published in the 2nd century AD.

In the hierarchy of modern constellations, Capricorn ranks 40th in terms of size when arranged from smallest to largest. With an area of ​​414 square degrees on the celestial sphere, it contributes to the vast expanse of the night sky.

Located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere, the constellation is visible from any latitude less than 60 degrees south, due to its specific location. The Messier Object 30 and several meteor showers, including the Alpha and Beta Capricornids, are notable features within this constellation.

Mythological origin

the constellation of capricorn

About two millennia ago, the constellation Capricorn played an important role in marking the winter solstice when the Sun passed through it. This celestial event led to the association of Capricorn with the onset of winter. However, This correlation is no longer valid today due to the precession of the equinoxes., which has caused the winter solstice to occur within the limits of the constellation of Sagittarius.

Stars of the Capricorn constellation

capricorn in heaven

Capricorn, the second darkest constellation in the celestial sphere, is only behind Cancer in terms of brightness. Within Capricorn, there is simply a star that It has an apparent magnitude less than 3, and only 4 stars with apparent magnitudes that range between 3 and 4. All remaining stars within the constellation exhibit higher apparent magnitudes.

Greek mythology offers several myths that explain the origin of this particular constellation. There is a widespread myth that associates this particular constellation with the demigod Pan. The story goes that Pan managed to evade the clutches of the monstrous Typhon by jumping into a river and transforming one side of his body into that of a fish, while keeping the other half like a goat. As a tribute to his intelligence, the mighty Zeus gave him a constellation in the sky.

There is a myth that connects the constellation of Capricorn with a nymph named Amalthea, who played an important role in Greek mythology by raising the god Zeus. According to one version of the myth, Zeus, Overwhelmed by his own power, he accidentally broke one of Amalthea's horns. This particular horn, known as the cornucopia or horn of plenty, was filled with abundant fruits and flowers. In homage to Amalthea, Zeus is said to have formed the constellation of Capricorn.

Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni)

Located 39 light years from our solar system, the star system known as Delta Capricorni comprises four celestial bodies. Within this system there is a primary binary star, Delta Capricorni A, which is accompanied by two additional components.

Throughout history, the star has been commonly known as Deneb Algedi in Arabic, a name that translates to "the tail of the goat." With a total apparent magnitude of 2,81, the star system in question shines brightly. As a result, Delta Capricorni has the distinction of being the most luminous star in the Capricorn constellation.

Dabih, also known as Beta Capricorni

Within the realm of star systems, Beta Capricorni is an excellent example, with a collection of no less than five stars. With the help of a moderate caliber telescope, It is a simple task to identify two of these stars. The dominant member of this system shines brightly as an orange giant, radiating with an apparent magnitude of 3,08.

With an apparent magnitude of 3,05, this entire star system has the distinction of being the second brightest in the constellation, located a staggering 328 light years from our solar system.

Al Giedi (Alpha2 Capricorni)

With an apparent magnitude of 3,58, Alpha2 Capricorni proudly claims the title of the third brightest star in its constellation. Known as Al Giedi, This celestial body derives its name from the Arabic term al-jaddi, which translates as "goat."

Composed of three stars, this celestial body is not simply a single star, but rather a star system. It is made up of a primary star and a binary star as a secondary component. Located at a distance of 106 light years from our own solar system.

Alpha Capricorni, a binary system formed by the stars Alpha2 Capricorni and Alpha1 Capricorni, is located approximately 570 light years from our planet. Despite their different identities, These stars are commonly known as Alpha Capricorni due to their proximity in the night sky.

Nashira (Gamma Capricorni)

Nashira, the lucky one, is the traditional name given to Gamma Capricorni, which holds the distinction of being the fourth brightest star in the constellation. With an apparent magnitude of 3,67, it shines brightly in the night sky. The name Nashira comes from the Arabic phrase “sa'd nashirah”.

Zeta Capricorni

It is a star located about 139 light years from our solar system. The last star in the constellation, Zeta Capricorni, has an apparent magnitude less than 4. This particular star is a binary system and exhibits a combined apparent magnitude of 3,74. Composed of a yellow giant as the main component and a white dwarf as a secondary component, this star system is located approximately 390 light years from our planet.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the constellation of Capricorn and its characteristics.

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