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Capella (Alpha Aurigae / Aur / 13 Aurigae) is the name of the brightest star in the constellation Auriga ('The Driver') and the sixth brightest in the sky. It's the first magnitude star nearest the North Celestial Pole. Is found at 42.2 light years away from the Sun.

Its name comes from the Latin capella, "little goat", and is the origin of the Roman myth of the goat Amaltheia who suckled Zeus. Is also called Alhajoth, which also means "The Goat" and Al Rakib, "The Driver" because in the evenings and in the twilight light was the first star that was seen among all those around her. In ancient Akkadian was called Dil-gan I-ku, the "Messenger of Light 'and Dil-gan Babille, "the honor Star of Babylon". It has been discovered some Celtic temples were oriented so that they received the first ray of Capella at rising. The ancient observers attributed a reddish color, completely inexplicable.

In Hindu mythology, Capella was Brahma Ridaya, symbolizing the heart of Brahma.

Although Capella is a star quad, first recognized the double star status through spectroscopic studies and then (in 1919) with interferometry. Visual separation of these components, A and B, no more than 0.05 seconds of arc, corresponding to a real separation of 0.73 astronomical units (AU). They move along a nearly circular orbit with an orbital period of 104 days.

At 12 arc-minutes of A+B there are two fainter companions, called C and D, found at 11,000 AU (0.17 light years) from the main pair, in an orbit so large it has not yet been completed by means of observations; a first approximation calculation of this orbit gives a period of 400 years. The average distance between C and D is about 48.1 AU.

The model offered by Capella can be likened to two areas of 35 and 20 cm in diameter 3 meters apart from each other; to 40 km from the main partner would stand two small sphere of 2 cm, 120 m apart.

The system is part of the Hyades stream.

 
2011-08-19 10:29:29       
So true. Honesty and eevrythnig recognized.
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