Capricorn - mystery constellation
The inhabitants of Australia called this cluster of stars in the sky the constellation Kangaroo, the Arabs al-Jadi (goatling), on the Russian map of the seventeenth century it is designated Capricorus or Goat. At present, this is Capricorn - the constellation of the southern hemisphere.
Characteristics of the Capricornus constellation
The abbreviated name of the constellation Cap is from the Latin Capricornus. The symbol is considered the mythical creature half goat-half fish. If you connect all the extreme points, then Capricorn is a constellation-smile. So visually it looks on the firmament.
The best time to observe is July-August. The sun is in it from January 19 to February 15. The constellation of Capricorn in the sky is located between Sagittarius and Aquarius. In addition, it is bordered by the constellations of Southern Fish, Microscope, and Eagle.
With the naked eye, the stars in the constellation of Capricorn, about 50, can be seen under the most favorable conditions. Brightness is greater than the fourth magnitude, only a few of them have it. It is necessary to have a very rich imagination in order to look at the irregular geometric figure of a goat's long-horned face, which smoothly turns into a twisted fishtail.
The brightest stars:
- Alpha or Aljedi.It represents two constellations with several double stars: a pair of orange and a pair of yellow. They can be observed without optical devices. Near this star is the radiant of the meteor shower. It is poorly studied, it can be observed from mid-July to mid-last month of summer, the peak falls on August 2.
- Beta or Butcher. The second in brightness. In the telescope of small power is seen as a double star. In fact, the Big Butcher and the Small Butcher themselves are quite complex formations. The composition of the first includes a blue-white dwarf and an orange giant. The second has a double star, which has a giant second class with an unusual atmosphere.
- Gamma or Good Herald. It is a blue-white giant.
- Delta (Deneb Algedi) or Goat Tail. The brightest star. This is a system of four stars. The main component is the white giant.
- Zeta or Chares. It consists of four double stars headed by a yellow supergiant and its companion - a white dwarf.
- Omega or Goat Belly. A curious variable star (red giant) with a variable absolute value and luminosity.
The constellation of Capricorn is famous for the fact that the planet Neptune was discovered in it in 1846. Johann Halle and Heinrich Louis d'Arre did it.
Capricorn is a constellation known more than 2,000 years ago. In ancient times it was called the "goat fish". The constellation was known in the Babylonian and Sumerian (called Suhur-mash-sha) cultures. The Indians called the constellation Makar, which means "miracle dragon," and also painted it half fish, half goat. It is in this interpretation that it is presented on many star maps.
It was depicted as a creature with a lamb or goat horned head and a fish tail. More than two thousand years ago, the star Sun passed the point of the winter solstice in the constellation of Capricorn, being at the lowest level in relation to the celestial equator. Then he began to "climb" up. The analogy with the goat's symbol, which climbs on a high mountain range, was traced.
Many peoples of the world considered the goat to be a sacred animal. In her honor, performed ceremonies and services. The constellation Capricorn is associated with one custom, giving an idea of the "scapegoat."
Azazel was considered the goat demon of the desert. On the appointed day, two goats were taken. One was to become a sacrifice for God, the second was released into the desert, considering it a symbol of the underworld, to Azazel.After the ceremony of sacrifice, the high priest laid his hands on the remaining goat, thereby transferring to him all the sins of his people. After that, the animal was released into the desert, there was a "scapegoat."
There are several reasons why the constellation of Capricorn arose. Legend has it that Zeus was born on the day of the winter solstice on the island of Crete in the cave of Mount Ida. His father Kronos killed all his children. The wise mother Rhea, instead of a baby, gave Kronos a stone wrapped in a blanket, which he safely swallowed.
The goat Almatai fed on her milk of Zeus. In gratitude, the almighty god placed her in the sky in the form of the constellation Capricorn.
According to another legend, Capricorn is descended from Epian. Zeus and Capricorn grew up together on the island of Crete. Capricorn assisted Zeus in his struggle with Kronos for power. In a token of appreciation, Zeus turned Capricorn into a constellation and left it on the celestial map.
Another myth asserts that the son of Driopa and Hermes, born with goat legs and horns, all covered with wool, was the patron saint of shepherds. He helped Zeus in the battle with the titans. The reward was his transformation into a constellation.But before that, escaping from an enraged Typhon, he fell into the Nile, because of which the lower part of his body acquired fish features. It was there that he was lifted up to heaven.
Capricorn - the sign of the zodiac, responsible for the period from December 22 to January 20 inclusive. It is an earthly sign of a person accustomed to achieve a goal set before him, firmly on his feet. This is the most stable and enduring in both moral and physical terms of all the signs of the zodiac.