The Constellation Directory


"The Sea Goat"


By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abbreviation: Cap
Genitive: Capricorni
Constellation family: Zodiac
Nearest constellations: Aquarius, Aquila, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Sagittarius
Right ascension: 21.02h
Declination: -20.23°
Visible between latitudes: +60° and -90°
Square degrees: 414
Luminary: Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni)
Named stars: Deneb Algedi, Dabih, Nashira
Notable deep sky objects: M30


Capricornus by Sidney Hall from Urania's Mirror

By Sidney Hall [Public domain], restored by Adam Cuerden, via Wikimedia Commons

Capricornus, also known as Capricorn, is one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac and lies in the Southern Hemisphere. With no stars above third magnitude, it is one of the dimmest constellations in the night sky. It is best seen in September.


Capricornus is usually represented as a creature that has the head and torso of a goat and the tail of a fish. There are multiple myths explaining the reason for this constellation's form, but several involve a mythical figure (sometimes Pan or Dionysus) escaping a monster alongside a river. While jumping into the water to avoid attack, half of the being's body remained dry and half got wet; the dry half morphed into goat form and the other half turned into a fish.