The Capricornus Constellation

Emmalisa Grella 9D

What it is?:

Commonly referred to as the Capricornus, this unique constellation can be found in the Southern Hemisphere durign September. This constellation's name originated from latin term meaning sea goat. Ptolemy was the first astronomer to discover this constellation. This constellation is the 40th largest constellation and takes up 414 degrees.

Where is it located in the sky?:

The Capricornus constellation is found in the southern sky and is located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere. It can be seen at latitudes between +60 degrees and -90 degrees. The constellations found neighbouring the Capricornus Constellation are the following: Aquarius, Aquila, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Sagittarius. The brightest stars within this constellation are the Deneb Algedi, Delta Capricorni.

Who? Ptolemy:

Born: 90 AD, Alexandria

Died: 168 AD, Alexandria

Claudius Ptolemaeus Ptolomaeus Klaudios Ptolemaios Ptolemeus, also known as Ptolemy was an Astronomer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt from around 87-150 AD. Ptolemy was an astronomer, mathematician and a geographer. He categorized the Greek representation of the Universe and made sense of the motions of the planets as they were recognized in his time.

Astronomy According to Aristotle and Ptolemy

When?:

The Capricornus Constellation was discovered by a Greek Astronomer named Ptolemy in the second century.

Myth behind The Capricornus Constellation:

This constellation forms the figure of sea-goat. There are many myths behind this constellation and how it came to be, one being that it was the Gate of the gods, and other being related the the Greek Myth of Pan. In the Gate of the Gods, people believed that this constellation was a region of the sky where souls would pass through when humans died, onto the after life. In the Greek Myth, Capricornus was associated with Pan because according to Greek Mythology the Gods turned themselves into animals in a panic to flee at the attack of a Monster, but in the commotion Pan couldn't decide what he wanted to be. Eventually, Pan jumped into the water transforming his lower body into a fish and because his upper body was dry it transformed into a goat becoming a sea-goat.

Major stars in the Capricornus Constellation:

Deneb Algedi – δ Capricorni (Delta Capricorni)

•Brightest star in the constellation, with alleged visual magnitude of 2.85.

Dabih – β Capricorni (Beta Capricorni)

•Second brightest star in the constellation.

Algiedi – α Capricorni (Alpha Capricorni)

•Double star made up of two stars; alpha-1 capricorni and alpha-2 capricorni.

Nashira – γ Capricorni (Gamma Capricorni)

•White giant A-type giant, roughly 139 light years distant.

Yen – ζ Capricorni (Zeta Capricorni)

•Another double star made up of of a yellow G-type supergiant and a white dwarf.

Dorsum – θ Capricorni (Theta Capricorni)

•This star is a white A-type main sequence dwarf, around 158 light years distant.

Baten Algiedi – ω Capricorni (Omega Capricorni)

•This star is a M-type red giant star, roughly 630 light years in distance from Earth

ψ Capricorni (Psi Capricorni)

•This star is a yellow-white giant, apart of spectral class F5 V.


Citations:

"Capricornus Constellations: A Guide to the Night Sky." Constellation Guide. WordPress and Hybrid, Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.constellation-guide.com/constellation-list/capricornus-constellation/>.

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Capricornus." Windows To The Universe . NESTA, Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.windows2universe.org/the_universe/Constellations/capricornus.html>.


"Capricornus." TopAstronomer.com. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.topastronomer.com/StarCharts/Constellations/Capricornus.php>.


Peat, Chris. " Mythology of the constellation Capricornus." Heavens Above. DLR/GSOC, Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.heavens-above.com/myth.aspx?con=cap>.


Arnett, Bill. "Ptolemy, The man." Bill & Joan Arnett's Web Site. 21 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 May 2013. <http://arnett.us.com/psc/theman.html>.


"Ptolemy." Ptolemy and Regiomontanus. Web. 18 May 2013. <http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/ptolemy.html>.