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A Field Book of the Stars/Capricornus

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CAPRICORNUS (kap-ri-kôr'-nus)— THE SEA GOAT. (Face Southwest.)

Location.—A line drawn from (α) Pegasi through (ζ) and (θ) in the same constellation, and projected about 25 degrees, strikes (α) and (β) in Capricornus.

This constellation contains three principal stars—(α) and (β) mentioned above, and (δ) about 20 degrees east of them.

The water jar of Aquarius is about the same distance north-east of (δ) Capricorni that Fomalhaut, in the Southern Fish, is southeast of it.

(α) has a companion which can be seen by the naked eye. It is a fine sight in binoculars. These two stars are gradually separating.

(β) is a double star, one being blue, the other yellow.

The constellation resembles a chapeau, or peaked hat, upside down.

The stars in the head of the Sea Goat, (α) and (β), are only 2 degrees apart, and can hardly be mistaken by an observer facing the southwestern sky during the early evening in autumn.

Five degrees east of (δ) is the point announced by Le Verrier as the position of his predicted new planet, Neptune.

Flammarion claims that the Chinese astronomers noted the five planets in conjunction in Capricornus, in the year 2449 B.C.

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