(Latin: “Goat horn”) In astronomy, the constellation lying between Aquarius and Sagittarius; in astrology, the tenth sign of the zodiac, governing approximately the period December 22–January 19. It is represented as a goat with what appears to be a fishtail. One explanation for this odd depiction is that it derives from the Greek myth of Pan. To avoid the monster Typhon, Pan jumped into the water just as he was changing into animal shape. The half of his body above water became a goat, while the submerged half took the shape of a fish. Another relates the form to the Mesopotamian deity Enki (see Ea).
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|γ||Nashira||Arabic||bringer of news|
|δ||Deneb Algiedi||Arabic||goat's tail|
|ν||Al Shat||Arabic||the sheep|
For the same reason, the sun's most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere's winter solstice, is now called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on earth where the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice.
The poor presence of stars near this constellation with respect to Sagittarius which has instead the brightest part of the milky way, was given a mythological explanation in ancient Greece: Due to early Greek beliefs that sin accumulated throughout the year, causing the darkness to increase, together with the sun's descent and pause at the Solstice, the ancient Greeks referred to this area of sky as the Augean Stable, where they considered the sun stabled during the year. The cause of the association with the location or name of Augeas is not currently known. Perhaps an association could be made with the Labours of Hercules (or Heracles) who had to clean out the Augean Stables which had never been cleaned out before. The gradually accumulated dung could be synonymous with the gradually accumulated sins. However, during the classical period of Greek history, this name gradually fell out of use. Much more plausible is that the word augean is just the adjective of auge (still used in Spanish and Italian meaning apex, apogee) deriving from Persian auk= apex, apogee; cf. Greek apogaios=apo+gaia=far from earth; Latin apogeus (same meaning); cf. also Latin augeo=I augmenth also connected with the concept of apex; the word solstitium (solstice, stable sun) means fast exactly the same as augean stable just referred to the sun, instead of a generic heavenly body with respect to the earth.
Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in Capricorn, but the astrological period called Capricorn begins at approximately the same time as the solstice.
The planet Neptune was discovered in this constellation by German astronomer Johann Galle, near Deneb Algedi (δ Capricorni) on September 23, 1846, which is reasonable as Capricornus can be seen best at 4:00am in September.
However, the constellation is often depicted as a sea-goat, a goat with a fish's tail. One myth that deals with this says that when the goat-god Pan was attacked by the monster Typhon, he dived into the Nile; the parts above the water remained a goat, but those under the water transformed into a fish.
The Greeks regarded the constellation area with an alternative interpretation, namely the Augean Stable – a stable full uncleanliness – representing the concept of sin accumulated during the year. The constellation of Aquarius, who was said to have poured out a river, then represent the yearly cleaning rains, associating to one of The Twelve Labours of Hercules.
The Western astrological sign Capricorn of the tropical zodiac (December 22–January 19) differs from the astronomical constellation and the Hindu astrological sign of the sidereal zodiac (January 19–February 15).
Other interpretations have been offered, notably Ptolemy's