We draw in the arrowhead-shape figure of the constellation Capricornus the Sea-goat by the moon on tonight’s chart. But you’re not likely to see this star pattern tonight because of the overwhelming glare of the full-looking waxing gibbous moon.
The moon shines to the north of this arrowhead-shaped constellation tonight. From northerly latitudes, that means tonight’s moon appears above the Sea-goat, but as seen from temperate latitudes to the south of the equator, the moon resides underneath the “upside-down” Sea-goat.
When the moon drops out of the evening sky by the end of the month, you’ll be able to see this loop of stars in a dark sky. The signpost of the summer skies – the Summer Triangle – faithfully escorts you to this constellation. We tell you more about the Summer Triangle on our August 17 program
Look for the three brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle high above the moon tonight. An imaginary line drawn downward from the star Vega through the star Altair points in the direction of Capricornus. Learn this trick while the moon is out tonight. Then employ this trick on a moonless night to find Capricornus the Sea-goat.
Whenever a bright moon beams in front of Capricornus, I’m reminded of Typhon the fire-breathing monster. In the lore of the heavens, Capricornus the Sea-goat memorializes the story of the Greek god Pan’s misadventure with Typhon. When Pan tried to elude Typhon by turning into a fish, he Pan-icked and turned into a goat-fish instead!