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Posts Tagged ‘Capricornus’

11/17/2017 – Ephemeris – Capricornus the sea-goat

November 17, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, November 17th. The Sun will rise at 7:42. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 5:12. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 7:34 tomorrow morning.

This morning, if it’s clear the exceedingly thin crescent Moon will appear to the right of Venus at 7 a.m. or later with Jupiter above them. This evening, however we look to the constellation Capricornus the sea-goat and member of the Zodiac. 2000 years ago the southernmost of the constellations of the zodiac was Capricornus. That’s why the latitude on the earth where the Sun is overhead on the winter solstice is called the Tropic of Capricorn. Not any more, Sagittarius, one constellation west, has that honor today. Capricornus is large, but made up of dim stars. To me it looks like a 45 degree isosceles triangle, long side up, but which all the sides are sagging low in the southwest at 8 p.m. and tilted a bit from the upper left to the lower right The image that is supposed to be represented by the stars is that of a goat whose hind quarters are replaced by a fish’s tail.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Jupiter-Venus-Moon

Jupiter, Venus and the Moon at 7 a.m. November 17, 2017. Created using Stellarium. The Moon’s crescent is too thin to record, however the earth shine glow is and will be visible.

Capricornus

Animated Capricornus finder chart for 9 p.m. November 17, 2017. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

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11/07/2017 – Ephemeris – The autumn constellations are all visible in the early evening

November 7, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Election Day for some folks, Tuesday, November 7th. The Sun will rise at 7:28. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:23. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 8:49 this evening.

We’ll have about an hour and a half of reasonably dark skies between 6:30 and nearly 9 p.m. – At 8 p.m. all the autumn constellations are visible. The Zodiacal constellations from Capricornus in the southwest through Aquarius, Pisces and Aries, all relatively faint to Taurus rising in the east northeast. Pegasus the flying horse is seen in the high south-southeast. It and the connected constellation of Andromeda the chained princess are seen above Aquarius through Aries. The bright star Fomalhaut holds a lonely vigil low in the south, High in the northeast is the W shaped constellation of Cassiopeia the queen, under which is Perseus, her son-in-law and hero down to the bright star Capella.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Autumn constellations.

The sky at 8 p.m. November 7, 2017 showing the autumn constellations, centered on the southeastern sky. Click on the image to enlarge. The Milky Way has been brightened to show its passage through Perseus better. The red line is the ecliptic, the path of the Sun through the Zodiac. Created using Stellarium.

Addendum

 

11/03/2016 – Ephemeris – Capricornus, a very strange goat

November 3, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, November 3rd.  The Sun will rise at 8:24.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 6:28.  The Moon, half way from new to first quarter, will set at 9:25 this evening.

The planet Mars is just to the right of the stars of Capricornus, one of the constellations of the zodiac.  Astronomers and others who draw the constellations by drawing lines between stars like a dot to dot puzzle have a hard time getting a sea-goat emerge from its stars.  The sea-goat has the front part of a goat and the back half like a fishes tail.  Kind of like a mergoat, instead of a mermaid.  To me, the constellation looks like a large sagging triangle, just above-left of Mars right now.  It will take Mars only to mid December to cross Capricornus to enter Aquarius, just east of it.   A couple of thousand years ago Capricornus was the location of the winter solstice point in the sky, for which the Tropic of Capricorn was named.  That point is now on the Ophiuchus-Sagittarius border.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Capricornus

Animated GIF of Capricornus in the sky. Time 9 p.m. November 3, 2016. Created using Stellarium ans GIMP.

09/14/2015 – Ephemeris – Another odd creature of the Zodiac, a sea-goat

September 14, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 14th.  The Sun will rise at 7:20.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 7:55.   The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 8:35 this evening.

As the Teapot of the constellation Sagittarius tilts and pours celestial tea on the southwestern horizon, it is followed in the south-southeast by the faint constellation of Capricornus the sea-goat.  I’m not sure you’ll see a half goat with a fish’s tail here unless you’ve started Oktoberfest a bit early.  To me, it looks like a big sagging triangle with the point down.  Capricornus is a constellation of the zodiac, and its claim to fame is a latitude line on the globe at 23 and a half degrees south, called the Tropic of Capricorn.  Back a couple of thousand years ago the sun entered Capricornus on the first day of winter, the winter solstice.  Thus the latitude where the sun was overhead at that instant was called the Tropic of Capricorn.  Due to the wobble of the earth’s axis, the line should now be called the Tropic of Sagittarius.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Capricornus represented in Cartes du Ciel

Capricornus represented in Cartes du Ciel

Artist's conception

An artist’s rendering of Capricornus. A part of Stellarium’s functionality.  The constellation lines are drawn differently than Cartes du Ciel

09/15/2014 – Ephemeris – The mer-goat Capricornus

September 15, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 15th.  The sun will rise at 7:21.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 7:53.   The moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:21 tomorrow morning.

Nearly 2000 years ago the southernmost of the constellations of the zodiac was Capricornus the water goat.  That’s why the latitude on the earth where the sun is overhead on the winter solstice is called the Tropic of Capricorn.  Not any more, Sagittarius, one constellation west and due south at 9 p.m., has that honor today.  Actually Capricornus does need the press.  It’s large, but made up of dim stars.  To me it looks like a 45 degree isosceles triangle, long side up, but which all the sides are sagging.  The constellation is found low in the south at 11 p.m. and tilted a bit from the upper right to the lower left.  The image that is supposed to be represented by the stars is that of a goat whose hind quarters are replaced by a fish’s tail, not a mermaid but a mer-goat.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Capricornus as represented by Stellarium

Capricornus as represented by Stellarium.

Capricornus the way I see it. Created ueing Cartes duCiel

Capricornus the way I see it. Created using Cartes duCiel.

Artist's conception

An artist’s rendering of Capricornus. A part of Stellarium’s functionality.

10/09/2012 – Ephemeris – Capricornus the sea-goat

October 9, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 9th.  The sun will rise at 7:50.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 7:07.   The moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:16 tomorrow morning.

The sky around 9 p.m. when it gets dark is that of summer stars overhead and to the west while the stars of autumn approach from the east.  The southern terminus of the Milky Way will reach the horizon in the southwest.  The teapot shaped constellation of Sagittarius is tipped as if pouring its contents on the southwestern horizon.  To the south is found the next constellation of the Zodiac Capricornus the sea goat.   Capricornus doesn’t have as bright a stars as Sagittarius.  It looks like the stars trace a sagging triangle.  Capricornus used to be the southernmost constellation of the Zodiac in ancient times, but precession, the slow wobbling of the earth’s axis, has shifted Sagittarius to that position now.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Capricornus the way I see it.   Created ueing Cartes duCiel

Capricornus the way I see it. Created using Cartes duCiel.

09/27/11 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Capricornus

September 27, 2011 Comments off

Tuesday, September 27th.  The sun will rise at 7:35.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 7:30.  The moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

As the Teapot of the constellation Sagittarius tilts and pours celestial tea on the southwestern horizon, it is followed in the south by the faint constellation of Capricornus the sea goat.  I’m not sure you’ll see a half goat with a fish’s tail here unless you’ve started Oktoberfest a bit early.  To me, it looks like a big sagging triangle with the point down.  Capricornus is a constellation of the zodiac, and its claim to fame is a latitude line on the globe at 23 and a half degrees south, called the Tropic of Capricorn.  Back a couple of thousand years ago the sun entered Capricornus on the first day of winter, the winter solstice.  Thus the latitude where the sun is overhead at that instant was called the Tropic of Capricorn.  Due to the wobble of the earth’s axis, the line should be called the Tropic of Sagittarius.

* Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Capricornus represented in Cartes du Ciel

Capricornus as represented in Cartes du Ciel

 

Capricornus as represented by Stellarium

Capricornus as represented in Stellarium