Capricorn Constellation

Did you know that every zodiac sign is related to a constellation? In this article, we will discuss the constellation which is symbolized by the sea goat.
According to Greek mythology, Capricornus, or Capricorn as it is commonly known, is the symbol for Amalthea, a goat who nursed Zeus and was one of his foster mothers when he was an infant. Amalthea's broken horn used to feed Zeus was transformed into the horn of plenty or cornucopia. According to another myth, when the goat god Pan was attacked by Typhon, he jumped into the Nile for protection. It was then that the part of his body that was above water remained in goat form, but the part that was underwater transformed into a fish's body. Mythology and ancient beliefs aside, the constellation is one of the 48 that were identified by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy.


Capricornus is a Latin word that means horned male goat, despite the fact that today it is more commonly represented by a sea goat, a mythical creature that is half goat and half fish. It is one of the 88 known constellations of modern-day, and is bordered by Aquila, Sagittarius, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Aquarius. Many of the constellations bordering it are water-related, which may have something to do with the fact that the constellation is located in an area of the sky known as Sea. In the early Bronze age, the Capricornus was considered to be the mark of the Winter Solstice. Though today the Winter Solstice occurs earlier and not when it is in the constellation, due to the shift in the rotational axis of the earth, the solstice still marks the start of the astrological sign of Capricorn. In fact, the latitude at which it appears overhead and can be seen by an observer is still known as the Tropic of Capricorn.

It is the second faintest constellation of the zodiac after Cancer, and it is seen at its brightest in September, at about 4 o'clock in the morning. Another interesting fact is that the planet Jupiter is located in this constellation, but it passed into Aquarius in 2011. Given below is a table that lists out the stars in the constellation along with their bayers, which are the stellar designations by which every star is identified. Every bayer designation is a Greek letter. The stars of the constellation seem like they are making a triangle. The brightest star in the constellation is the Delta Capricorni.

BayerStar Name
α1Prima Giedi
α2Secunda Giedi
β1Dabih Major
β2Dabih Minor
δDeneb Algedi
νAl Shat

The Sun is in the constellation between 15th of January and 15th of February. According to astrology, Sun is considered to be in the Capricorn zodiac sign between 22nd December and 19th January. This is because of the Winter Solstice, which traditionally was marked by the Sun being in the constellation. Capricornus also has a cluster called M30 within its boundaries, which is about 12 arc minutes (one arc minute is equal to 60th of a degree measuring angular distance) across.

Despite the fact that the constellation does not have any astronomical importance because of the lack of luminosity of the stars, it is hugely discussed due to its zodiac importance and the role it plays in astrology. Hopefully, this brief overview has elucidated the features of this constellation.