Welcome back to Constellation Friday! Ptolemy compiled a list of all the then-known 48 constellations.
This treatise, known as the Almagest , would be used by medieval European and Islamic scholars for over a thousand years to come, effectively becoming astrological and astronomical canon until the early Modern Age. Positioned on the ecliptic plane, this constellation is one of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac , and is bordered by Aquarius , Aquila, Sagittarius , Microscopium and Piscis Austrinus.
Today, it is one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. This arises from the fact that representations dating back to the Middle Bronze Age consistently depict the constellation as a hybrid of a goat and fish. In the Babylonian star catalogues, which are dated to ca. The constellation would later become the symbol of Ea Enki and was associated with the winter solstice.
In Greek mythology, the constellation was sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled Zeus after Rhea saved him from Cronos. However, the constellation is often depicted as a sea-goat i. One myth that deals with this says that when the goat-god Pan was attacked by the monster Typhon, he dived into the Nile. The parts of him that were above the water remained a goat, but those under the water transformed into a fish.
The Greeks regarded the constellation area with an alternative interpretation, namely the Augean Stable — a stable full uncleanliness — representing the concept of sin accumulated during the year. The Aquarius constellation , who was said to have poured out a river, then represent the yearly cleaning rains, associating to one of The Twelve Labors of Hercules. Despite being a faint constellation, Capricornus is one of the oldest recognized constellations.
As with the other constellations associated with the Zodiac, Capricornus was catalogued by Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE and included in his treatise the Almagest. Despite its faintness, the constellation has also been recognized by other cultures around the world. For example, in Chinese astronomy, Capriconus lies in The Black Tortoise of the North, one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations.
In , Capricornus included in the list of 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. In terms of stars few bright stars or Deep Sky Objects. Its brightest star Delta Capricorni A being a white giant with a luminosity 8. Located light years way, this star system consists of Dabih Major Beta-1 and Dabih Minor Beta-2 ; both of which is actually composed of multiple stars — Beta-1 is composed of a three stars while Beta-2 is a double star. It is composed of two star systems, Prima Giedi Alpha-2 Capricorni and Secunda Giedi Alpha-2 Capricorni ; the former being a double star located light-years away, and the latter is a G-type yellow giant light years away.
The only Deep Sky Object associated with this constellation is Messier 30 , a globular cluster located approximately 28, light years from Earth.
This cluster is currently approaching us at a speed of about km per second, and was one of the first Deep Sky Objects discovered by Charles Messier in and included in The Messier Catalog. The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or Water, consisting of many watery constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.
For binocular observers, the best place to start is to the northwestern corner first to find Alpha Capricorni. This is an absolutely beautiful optical double star that goes by the traditional name of Algiedi. Put a telescope on it, because Prima Giedi is a true binary star. Secunda Giedi. For even more fun, aim your telescope all the way across the constellation at the northeastern corner for Delta Capricorni. Similar to Algol, Delta Capricorni A is an eclipsing binary. Its unresolved companion orbits with Capricorni A around their common centre of mass every 1.
Two other stars are thought to orbit further out in the system. The sixteenth magnitude Delta Capricorni C is one arc minute away, while the thirteenth magnitude Delta Capricorni D is two arc minutes away from the primary. Now go back to binoculars and hop one bright star west to take a look at Gamma Capricorni.
It is approximately light years from Earth. It is classified as an Alpha2 Canum Venaticorum type variable star and its brightness varies by 0. Now, go right in the center for Theta. It is approximately light years from our solar system. Want more viewing opportunities? Then go back west with binoculars and look at Beta. Now, keep your binoculars handy and use the chart to help you located Messier This one is rather hard to see in binoculars.
But with a telescope, its stars can be resolved. Only about 12 variable stars have been found in this globular cluster. The core of M30 exhibits an extremely dense stellar population, and has undergone a core collapse. Despite its compressed core, close encounters of the member stars of globular cluster M30 seem to have occurred comparatively rare, as it appears to contain only few X-ray binary stars.
Averaging about 15th magnitude elliptical is extremely faint and a definite big scope challenge.
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It pairs with NGC , which is also 15th magnitude and has no classification. At slightly fainter than magnitude 11, this classy spiral galaxy shows some nice arm structure to even mid-sized telescopes. Because it is doing a little galaxy interaction with background lenticular galaxy NGC This pair of spirals is engaging in some galaxy cannibalism!
This act has caused some nice supernovae events within recent history and makes for some great observing — as well as astro-imaging opportunities! The constellation of Capricornus also has a meteor shower associated with it. The Capricornid meteor stream peaks on or about July 30 and is active about a week before and after that date.
The average fall rate is about 10 to 30 per hour and it is know to produce bolides. We have written many interesting articles about the constellation here at Universe Today. Here is What Are The Constellations? Today, in honor of the late and great Tammy Plotner, we will be dealing with Canes Venatici constellation.
Ptolemy compiled a list of the then-known 48 constellations. His treatise, known as the Almagest , would be used by medieval European and Islamic scholars for over a thousand years to come. Today, this list has been expanded to include the 88 constellations recognized by the IAU. It is also one of three constellations that represent dogs, along with Canis Major and Canis Minor. Given its comparatively recent origin, there is no real mythology associated with this asterism.
However, it does have an interesting history.
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During Classic Antiquity, the stars of Canes Venatici did not appear very brightly in the night sky. As such, they were listed by Ptolemy as unfigured stars below the constellation Ursa Major in the Almagest , rather than as a distinct constellation. When the Almagest was translated from Greek to Arabic, the translator — the Arab astronomer Hunayn ibn Ishaq — did not know the Arabic word for cudgel.
Cor Caroli is a binary star with a combined apparent magnitude of 2. The two stars are The system lies approximately light years from Earth.
These stars have a strong stellar magnetic field, which is believed to produce starspots of enormous extent. Structured data. Captions English Shows bounds of small northern constellation. Joined dots part of "hunting dogs". Alpha in south-centre and faint beta considerably mid-west; often both being body of one of two dogs.
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