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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