National Research Council Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Capricornus

Warning Information found on this page has been archived and is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Please visit NRC's new site for the most recent information.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.


Legend

Capricornus

Capricornus is one of the oldest known constellations. The ancient Babylonians called it the Goat-Fish, and said it ruled the part of the sky from which the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed. The Greeks also saw Capricornus as a creature that was half-goat and half-fish. They associated it with the god Pan, who had a human torso and face, but goat legs and goat horns. One story about Pan is that he jumped in the river Nile to escape the sea monster Typhon. The part of him below the water turned into a fish, while the rest of his body remained a goat.

Capricornus is a hard constellation to find — it doesn't have any bright stars, and it never gets very high in the sky. It's also the smallest of all the zodiacal constellations!

Back to Previous Page