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Capricornus, The Sea Goat Constellation Facts and Mythology

Capricornus Constellation Star Map

Capricornus (Pronounciation:Cap-re-corn-us, Abbrev:Cap, Latin:Capricorni) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Capricornus takes up 413.947 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1% of the night sky. Capricornus is the 40th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Sea Goat . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

There are 13 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 964 stars. There are 48 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Capricornus is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Capricornus is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The distance to Capricornus is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Capricornus is to calculate the average distance of the stars.

There are 16 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Capricornus. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Capricornus Star List Page.

There are 1 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Capricornus Star Facts

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

HIP 103039, Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 103039 which is roughly about 18.63 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 204941 which is about 87.75 Light Years.

HIP 107037, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 107037 and it is 65232.67 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

Deneb Algedi, Brightest Star in Capricornus

The brightest star in Capricornus is Deneb Algedi and is located about 274.86 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.85 but an absolute magnitude of 2.48 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Delta Capricorni rather than having Alpha status.

47 Capricorni, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Capricornus with the naked eye is 47 Capricorni. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan.

Capricornus Mythology

Usually referred to as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus when his mother Rhea saved her son from Cronos, his father. Another story has Pan, the goat god who was attacked by Typhon, the sea monster. Pan dived into the water, the lower part turned into a fish but the top part remained a goat.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Capricornus

There are 15 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Chi Capricornids29 Jan- 28 Feb13-FebChi Capricorni
Alpha CapricornidsJul 03 - Aug 15 Jul 30Algiedi Prima

Capricornus Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Brightest StarDeneb Algedi
Area413.947 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1%
Size Position40th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count16
Meteor Shower Count15
Nearest StarHIP 103039
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 204941
Brightest StarDeneb Algedi
Dimmest Star47 Capricorni
Furthest StarHIP 107037
Bright Star Count48
Hipparcos Star Count964
Main Star Count13
Messier Deep Space Object Count1
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsAquarius
Piscis Austrinus

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Capricornus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Messier 30 (NGC7099)Globular Cluster27.8-31 kly-23:1121h 40m 4

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