Capricornus(redirected from Capricornus (constellation))
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Capricornus(kăprĭkôr`nəs) [Lat.,=the goat horn], inconspicuous southern constellationconstellation,
in common usage, group of stars that appear to form a configuration in the sky; properly speaking, a constellation is a definite region of the sky in which the configuration of stars is contained.
..... Click the link for more information. lying on the eclipticecliptic
, the great circle on the celestial sphere that lies in the plane of the earth's orbit (called the plane of the ecliptic). Because of the earth's yearly revolution around the sun, the sun appears to move in an annual journey through the heavens with the ecliptic as its
..... Click the link for more information. (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Sagittarius and Aquarius; it is one of the constellations of the zodiaczodiac
[Gr. zoion=animal], in astronomy, zone of the sky that includes about 8° on either side of the ecliptic. The apparent paths of the sun, the moon, and the major planets all fall within this zone.
..... Click the link for more information. . Known as the Sea Goat, it has been depicted from earliest times either as a goat or as a figure with its forepart like that of a goat and its hind part like the tail of a fish. The tropic of Capricorn takes its name from this constellation, in which the winter solstice was located about 2,000 years ago. Now, because of the precession of the equinoxesprecession of the equinoxes,
westward motion of the equinoxes along the ecliptic. This motion was first noted by Hipparchus c.120 B.C. The precession is due to the gravitational attraction of the moon and sun on the equatorial bulge of the earth, which causes the earth's axis to
..... Click the link for more information. , the winter solstice has moved westward into Sagittarius. Capricornus contains a globular star clusterstar cluster,
a group of stars near each other in space and resembling each other in certain characteristics that suggest a common origin for the group. Stars in the same cluster move at the same rate and in the same direction.
..... Click the link for more information. that can be seen on a very clear night. The constellation reaches its highest point in the evening sky in late September.
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Capricornus(kap-ră-kor -nŭs) (Sea Goat) A zodiac constellation in the southern hemisphere near Sagittarius, the brightest stars being of 3rd magnitude. Alpha (α) Capricorni is a naked-eye double star (magnitudes 3.6, 4.2); both components are multiple stars. The area contains the globular cluster M30 (NGC 7099). Abbrev.: Cap; genitive form: Capricorni; approx. position: RA 21h, dec –20°; area: 414 sq deg.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
A constellation with right ascension 21 hours, declination 20°S. Abbreviated Cap. Also known as Sea Goat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
half goat, half fish. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 450]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.