Capricorn Star Constellation and the Magical Capricornus Stars
The Capricorn star constellation is also called the Capricornus constellation. Like many other zodiac constellations, the Capricorn star constellation was also documented by the Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. The constellation was coined Capricornus, meaning “Goat Horn” because it represents a creature that is half a goat and half a fish, much like the centaur. The mythical creature is called the sea-goat, which is associated with the God Enki according to the Babylon Mythology and to the Deity Pan according to the Greek Mythology. The Capricorn star constellation falls in the region of the sky referred to as the sea with Aquarius, Pisces, and Cetus constellations as its neighbours, all of which are constellations associated with water, coining the name of the region. So these were the basics of the sea-goat constellation; let us now find out the location of the Capricorn Star Constellation.
The Location of the Capricorn Zodiac Constellation
The Capricorn Star Constellation is located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere. It acquires a space of 414 square degrees, making it the 40th largest constellation in the galaxy. It is found between the latitudes +60 degrees and -90 degrees, and some of the constellations found around it are the Eridanus, Aquila, Piscis Austrinus, among others. The Capricorn star constellation is considered one of the faintest of the constellations and is often not very easy to locate. The 5 Capricornus stars approved by the International Astronomical Union are Algedi, Alshat, Dabih, Deneb Algedi, and Nashira. Let’s see how these Capricornus stars help form the Capricorn Zodiac Constellation and how you can spot them.
The Capricornus Stars
The Capricorn Star Constellation consists of 5 stars, out of which the three bright Capricornus stars form a triangle that creates the body of the sea-goat constellation. Let’s know more about the details of these stars.
1. Delta Capricorni
The Delta Capricorni is the brightest of all the Capricornus stars. It is located approximately 38.71 light-years away from the earth and is a multiple star system. It is also referred to as “Deneb Algedi”, which is derived from the Arabic expression “ðanab al-jady” which means the tail of the goat. This is because the tail of the goat is formed by the delta Capricorni. The star has a magnitude of 2.81 and consists of 3 components namely The Delta Capricorni A, δ Cap Aa, and δ Cap Ab.
2. Beta Capricorni
The Beta Capricorni is the second brightest point of light in the Capricorn star constellation. It is a multiple star system and is located 328 light-years away. The star “Dabih” is its primary component and also the second brightest star. The magnitude of Dabih is 3.05, and the star’s name has been derived from the Arabic word “Al-dhabih”, which means “the butcher.” Dabih Major or Beta1 Capricorni and Dabih Minor or Beta2 Capricorni are the two components of the star system. It seems to be a binary star while it has five stars in the constellation. Both are about 0.34 light-years away from each other. Beta1 Capricorni consists of three stars, Dabih, a single star, and a binary pair. Beta2 Capricorni is also a binary star but fainter than Beta1 Capricorni. The magnitude of Beta2 Capricorni is 6.09.
3. Alpha Capricorni
Alpha Capricorni is a two-star system. Alpha1 Capricorni and Alpha2 Capricorni. Both the stars appear to be distant at 0.11 degrees in the sky. Alpha2 Capricorni is brighter than Alpha1 Capricorni. The magnitude of Alpha1 Capricorni is 3.57, and it shines at a distance of 102 light-years. One star in Algedi is an orange giant star and a binary star pair; both the stars are half the size of the Sun, while Alpha1 Capricorni lies at about 870 light-years away and is a yellow giant, faint star. Its magnitude is 4.27, and its mass is 5.3 times that of the Sun.
4. Alshat Capricorni
Alshat or Nu Capricorni is a double star and appears close to Alpha Capricorni. Its magnitude is 4.76, and it is 253 light-years away from us. Alshat in Arabic means “sheep.”
5. Gamma Capricorni
Nashira or Gamma Capricorni has a magnitude of 3.67 and is 139 light-years away. The name of the star is derived from the Arabic word Sa’d nashirah, which means “the lucky one.”
6. Zeta Capricorni
Zeta Capricorni is also a binary star in the Capricorn star constellation with a magnitude of 3.74 and is 386 light-years away from Earth.
7. Theta Capricorni
Dorsum or Theta Capricorni is a white star with a magnitude of approximately 4.07 and lies 162 light-years away.
8. Omega Capricorni
Baten Algiedi or Omega Capricorni is an orange giant star with a magnitude of approximately 4.11 lying 1000 light-years away from the planet.
9. Psi Capricorni
Psi Capricorni is a yellow-white star that has a magnitude of 4.13 and is 47.9 light-years away. Its mass is 1.37 times of the Sun and is 3.82 times more luminous than Sun.
The Deep Sky Objects are Messier 30, Messier 15, Messier 70, HCG 87(group of galaxies, 400 million light-years away), IC-1337 (spiral galaxy 420 million light-years away).
The Mythology Behind The Origin Of Capricorn Star Constellation
The Myth behind the origin of the Capricornus is associated with Babylonians and Sumerians. The Babylonian Star catalogue named it “MUL.SUHUR.MAS”, which means “goat fish”, while Sumerians also considered the same way and called it “SUHUR-MASH-HA”, the “goatfish.” As per Greek Mythology, Capricornus is associated with the forest deity Pan, bearing the legs and horns of a goat, while his brother Crotus is associated with the neighbour constellation, “Sagittarius.”
Zeus was the God who placed Pan in the sky because he had helped the Gods during the war with the Titans. He helped defeat and scare Titans by blowing his conch shell and also warned them about the monster Typhon, who was sent by Gaia. He later advised the Gods to disguise themselves as animals until the war ends or the danger passes. Pan jumped into the Nile river and turned his lower body part into a fish, and succeeded to elude the monster. Zeus, on the other hand, knocked out Typhon, the monster, with his thunderbolt. Therefore, Capricornus is often referred to as a goat with a fishtail.
There is another Greek myth about the Capricornus that is about Cronos. Cronos had a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him and take the crown, which is why he ate all his children except infant Zeus, who, without his knowledge, was suckled by a goat.
Now that you know all about the Capricorn star constellation. You must be keen to get a clear view of it. But you need to wait for the right time to see the constellation because of its faintness. Have some patience and wait for the wonderful view of the beautiful constellation.