If I am standing looking towards the East from the Northern Hemisphere, do the constellations appear to rotate towards the West via the North or the West via the South or am I completely off target all together?

Why do we say Capricorn is in December at the Solstice? Where do we see it in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere in December and likewise would we see Aquarius in that same position in February etc..?


1 Answer 1


The sky appears to rotate around the Poles. Stars that are in the northern Hemisphere will move in circles around the Pole. Some Southern hemisphere stars are also visible from the North, the move in circle around the southern pole (Although the star is sometimes visible the southern pole is always below the horizon from the Northern hemisphere)

A star that rises due East, will reach its highest position in the sky when it it is due South. It won't enter the Northern half of the sky.

Astronomers don't tend to talk much of Capricorn in December. (That leads to astrological nonsense) But it means that the sun in in the same region of the sky as Capricorn at that time (which means that you certainly can't see it) In fact the best time to see Capricorn is in Early Summer, when it is as far from the sun as possible.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks James, that was a very clear answer. I appreciate it. $\endgroup$
    – Liba WS
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ @LibaWS the general way to show appreciation for an answer solving your question on StackExchange network is by accepting it (clicking the tick mark on the left of the answer). $\endgroup$
    – Ruslan
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 16:31

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