Tag Archives: Capricornus

Piscis Austrinus (The southern fish)

Piscis AustrinusPiscis Austrinus, the southern fish, never rises very high above the southern horizon from our northern hemisphere location. It is situated below a point between Capricornus and Aquarius, and it reaches its highest nightfall ascension in October. In a light-polluted sky, 1st magnitude Fomalhaut might be the only star visible to the unaided eye. This constellation is related to one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piscis_Austrinus

IAU Piscis Austrinus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Piscis Austrinus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Aquarius (The water bearer)

Constellation AquariusAquarius, the water bearer, is a rather dim and nondescript zodiacal constellation. This southern constellation was cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located in a region known to  the ancients as “the sea” because several water constellations, to include Capricornus (the sea goat), Piscis Austrinis (the fish), Pisces (the fishes), and Cetus (the sea monster) are gathered there. It is situated on the ecliptic between Capricornus and Pisces, and is just south of the Great Square of Pegasus. Aquarius reaches its highest nightfall ascension in November. Three globular star clusters, M2, M72 and M73 are the only Messier objects found in this constellation. The Eta Aquariids is the strongest meteor shower radiating from Aquarius, peaking at about 35 meteors per hour between May 5th and 6th.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarius_(constellation)

IAU Aquarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), January 27, 1997.
IAU Aquarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), January 27, 1997.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Capricornus (The sea goat)

Constellation CapricornusCapricornus, the sea goat, is a zodiacal constellation and one of the 48 constellations cataloged by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It is located on the ecliptic between Sagittarius and Aquarius, and is south of the Summer Triangle and the Great square of Pegasus.  Capricornus reaches its highest nightfall ascension in October. Its alpha star, Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni), is just brighter than magnitude 3, and can be seen under most reasonable conditions. The remainder of the constellation is rather dim and difficult to see in light-polluted urban skies. The globular star cluster, M30, is the only Messier object in this constellation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capricornus

IAU Capricornus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.
IAU Capricornus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Sagittarius (The archer)

Constellation SagittariusSagittarius, the archer, is a zodiacal constellation that is rather easily found because of its distinctive teapot asterism. It is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located on the ecliptic between Scorpius and Capricornus. It can also be found by starting at Altair (a Summer Triangle star) and tracing southward along Aquila’s long axis. As is situated on southern most point of the ecliptic, this constellation hangs low in the southern sky, reaching its highest nightfall ascension in August. The Sun’s arrival at the southernmost point of the ecliptic around December 21st marks Winter Solstice and the first day of Winter.

This constellation has the distinction of presenting the foreground stars in the direction of the dense center of the Milky Way galaxy, which is rich in Messier objects. As such, it is worth taking the time to scan this constellation with binoculars or a small telescope. Several well-known nebula can be found in Sagittarius to include the Lagoon Nebula (M8), the Horseshoe Nebula, the Omega Nebula (M17), the Trifid Nebula (M20), and the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24). Other Messier objects include M18, M22, M23, M25, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70 and M75.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_(constellation)

IAU Sagittarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine, June 5, 2011.
IAU Sagittarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net