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Transcript
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC, CAPRICORN
Capricorn
is the tenth astrological sign in the Zodiac,
originating from the constellation of Capricornus.
Capricornus is the 40th biggest constellation in the sky,
occupying an area of 414 square degrees. It spans the
Zodiac between the 270th and 299th degree of celestial
longitude and lies in the fourth quadrant of the southern
hemisphere and can be seen at latitudes between +60°
and -90°. The neighbouring constellations are Aquarius,
Aquila, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Sagittarius.
Capricornus has three stars with known planets and also
contains a Messier object, M30 (NGC 7099).
There are five meteor showers associated with
Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi
Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau
Capricornids, and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.
MAJOR STARS IN CAPRICORNUS
The brightest star in the constellation is Deneb Algedi, δ
Delta Capricorni, with an apparent visual magnitude of 2.85.
The star is known by its traditional names Deneb Algedi and
Sheddi. Deneb Algedi comes from the Arabic ðanab al-jady,
which means “the tail of the goat.” The star is located near the
ecliptic and can be occulted by the Moon and, very rarely, by
planets. It is actually a four-star system 39 light years from
Earth. The brightest star, Delta Capricorni A, is a white giant
that belongs to the spectral class A. It has the luminosity 8.5
times that of the Sun. Deneb Algedi is a Delta Scuti type
variable, a star that varies in brightness due to both radial and
non-radial pulsations of its surface.
Dabih – ß Capricorni (Beta Capricorni) is the second brightest
star in Capricornus. Its traditional name, Dabih, comes from
the Arabic al-dhabi, which means “the butcher.” It again is
not a single star, but a star system, 328 light years distant,
located near the ecliptic. It consists of Dabih Major (Beta-1
Capricorni), the brighter component, with an apparent
magnitude of 3.05, and Dabih Minor (Beta-2 Capricorni), which has an apparent magnitude of 6.09.
Algiedi – α Capricorni (Alpha Capricorni) is an optical binary star. Its name comes from the Arabic al-jady,
which means “the billy goat.” It is composed of two star systems, Prima Giedi (Alpha-2 Capricorni) and
Secunda Giedi (Alpha-2 Capricorni), which are separated by 0.11 degrees in the sky.
Nashira γ Capricorni (Gamma Capricorni) is a blue-white A-type giant, approximately 139 light years distant.
Its name is derived from the Arabic phrase for “bearer of good news.” It has an apparent magnitude of 3.69 and
lies close to the ecliptic. The star’s brightness varies by 0.03 magnitudes. It is classified as an Alpha-2 Canum
Venaticorum type variable, a chemically peculiar star with strong magnetic fields.
Yen – ζ Capricorni (Zeta Capricorni) is a double star composed of a yellow G-type supergiant and a white
dwarf. The system has an apparent magnitude of 3.77 and is approximately 398 light years distant. The brighter
component is a Barium star that is particularly notable for having an overabundance of praseodymium.
Dorsum – θ Capricorni (Theta Capricorni) is a white A-type main sequence dwarf, about 158 light years
distant. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 4.08. The star’s traditional name comes from the Latin word for
“the back (of the goat).”
Baten Algiedi – ω Capricorni (Omega Capricorni) is an M-type red giant star, approximately 630 light years
from Earth. Its traditional name, Baten Algiedi, means “the belly of the goat” in Arabic. The star has an apparent
magnitude of 4.12. It is a variable star, exhibiting regular variations in brightness and absolute magnitude.
ψ Capricorni (Psi Capricorni) is a yellow-white giant belonging to the spectral class F5 V. It is 47.9 light years
distant and has an apparent magnitude of 4.15.
DEEP SKY OBJECTS IN CAPRICORNUS
Messier 30 (NGC 7099) in Capricornus, is a globular
cluster approximately 28,000 light years distant and
about 90 light years across in size. The cluster is
approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s. It was one of
the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier
in 1764. The cluster has an overall spectral type F3.
M30 is relatively dense and belongs to the
concentration class V. The brightest stars in the cluster
are magnitude 12 red giants.
Like Messier 15, Messier 70, and many other globular
clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy, M30 has undergone
a core collapse. Its core is now only 0.12 arc minutes in
size, and half of the cluster’s mass is contained in a
spherical radius that is 17.4 light years across. Messier
30 is easy to observe even in small telescopes.
IN ASTROLOGY, Capricorn is considered an
introvert sign, an earth sign, and one of the four
cardinal signs. In astrology, a cardinal sign (also called
by older astrologers a moveable sign) is a sign of the
zodiac that initiates a change of temperate zone season
when the Sun makes its annual passage into them.
The word "cardinal" originates from the Latin
word for "hinge," since they each mark the turning
point of a temperate season. They were called
moveable by traditional astrologers because, as Bonatti
says, the "air" changes when the Sun enters each of these signs, bringing a change of season. The four cardinal
signs are:
• Aries, the Sun's passage through which begins the spring in the northern hemisphere, and the autumn in the
southern hemisphere.
• Cancer, which begins the summer in the northern hemisphere, and the winter in the southern hemisphere.
• Libra, which begins the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and the spring in the southern hemisphere.
• Capricorn, which begins the winter in the northern hemisphere, and the summer in the southern hemisphere.
Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. In the Tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac from
December 22 to January 20 each year. In Sidereal astrology, the sun currently transits the constellation of
Capricorn from January 15 - February 14.
MYTHOLOGY
The constellation is usually depicted as a goat with a fish's tail. One myth says that when the goat-god Pan was
attacked by the monster Typhon, he dove into the Nile; the parts above the water remained a goat, but those
under the water transformed into a fish. It is sometimes depicted as a sea-goat, and sometimes as a terrestrial
goat. The reasons for this are unknown, but the image of a sea-goat goes back at least to Babylonian times.
Furthermore, the Sumerian god Enki's symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single
beast, the goat Capricorn, recognized as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus.
The symbol of the goat rising from the body of a fish represents with greatest propriety the mountainous
buildings of Babylon rising out of its low and damp situation; the two horns of the goat being emblematic of the
two towns, Nineveh and Babylon, the former built on the Tigris, the latter on the Euphrates; but both subjected
to one sovereignty.
On the other hand, the constellation of Capricornus is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled
the infant Zeus after his mother Rhea saved him from being devoured by his father Cronos (in Greek
mythology). The goat's broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. Some ancient
sources claim that this derives from the sun "taking nourishment" while in the constellation, in preparation for
its climb back northward. As such, it is a symbol of discipline.
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