The Constellation Sagittarius

by Dominic Ford
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Sagittarius

Sagittarius is a large southern constellation which spans the declination range δ=12°S to δ=45°S. It appears highest in the evening sky in the months around July.

This area of the sky looks directly towards the center of the Milky Way, which is marked by the radio source Sgr A. This makes it the richest of all the constellations for deep sky objects, including no fewer than fifteen open clusters and eighteen globular clusters brighter than tenth magnitude. Among these is M22, the fifth brightest globular cluster in the sky.

It is also home to the diffuse ninth-magnitude galaxy NGC 6822, also known as Caldwell 57.

Sagittarius is one of the twelve members of the zodiac, and the Sun passes through it each year between mid-December and mid-January.

Sagittarius is usually depicted as a centaur (half horse, half man) holding a bow and arrow. The constellation is of Sumerian origin and was subsequently adopted by the Greeks, leading to some uncertainty over the archer's identity. According to Eratosthenes, the archer is Crotus, nurse to the Muses and the inventor of archery. However, this association is problematic as Crotus was not a centaur, but rather a satyr.

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
2.1% of the sky
867.4 square degrees
Messier Objects
Sagittarius contains the following Messier objects: M8, M17, M18, M20, M21, M22, M23, M24, M25, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70, M75.
Caldwell Objects
Sagittarius contains the following Caldwell object: C57.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Sagittarius: Aquila, Capricornus, Corona Australis, Indus, Microscopium, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Scutum, Serpens Cauda, Telescopium.
Sagittarius Sagittarius
The constellation Sagittarius as it appears to the unaided eye. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme


Brightest Objects in Sagittarius

Hover the pointer over the name of an object to highlight its position on the starchart to the right, or click to see more information.

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Kaus Australis (mag 1.8) NGC 6530 (mag 4.6) Messier 22 (mag 5.2) NGC 6822 (mag 9.3)
Nunki (mag 2.1) Messier 25 (mag 4.6) Messier 55 (mag 6.3) IC 4946 (mag 11.8)
Ascella (mag 2.6) Messier 23 (mag 5.5) NGC 6723 (mag 6.8) IC 4991 (mag 12.3)
Kaus Media (mag 2.7) Messier 21 (mag 5.9) Messier 28 (mag 6.9) NGC 6878 (mag 12.4)
Kaus Borealis (mag 2.8) Messier 17 (mag 6.0) NGC 6544 (mag 7.5) NGC 6835 (mag 12.5)
π-Sgr (mag 2.9) Messier 20 (mag 6.3) NGC 6624 (mag 7.6) IC 4931 (mag 12.8)
Alnasl (mag 3.0) Messier 18 (mag 6.9) Messier 54 (mag 7.7) NGC 6849 (mag 12.9)
η-Sgr (mag 3.1) NGC 6716 (mag 7.5) Messier 70 (mag 7.8) NGC 6836 (mag 13.0)
φ-Sgr (mag 3.1) NGC 6520 (mag 7.6) NGC 6553 (mag 8.3) NGC 6841 (mag 13.4)
τ-Sgr (mag 3.3) NGC 6546 (mag 8.0) Messier 69 (mag 8.3) NGC 6816 (mag 13.6)
ξ²-Sgr (mag 3.5) NGC 6647 (mag 8.0) NGC 6569 (mag 8.4) NGC 6902 (mag 13.6)
O-Sgr (mag 3.8) NGC 6469 (mag 8.2) NGC 6717 (mag 8.4) NGC 6806 (mag 13.8)
μ-Sgr (mag 3.8) NGC 6645 (mag 8.5) NGC 6652 (mag 8.5) NGC 6794 (mag 13.9)
ρ¹-Sgr (mag 3.9) NGC 6568 (mag 8.6) NGC 6558 (mag 8.6) IC 4926 (mag 13.9)
Rukbat (mag 3.9) NGC 6507 (mag 9.6) Messier 75 (mag 8.6) IC 4913 (mag 14.0)
Arkab Prior (mag 3.9) NGC 6583 (mag 10.0) NGC 6642 (mag 8.9) IC 4998 (mag 14.0)
ι-Sgr (mag 4.1) NGC 6603 (mag 11.1) NGC 6522 (mag 9.5) NGC 6890 (mag 14.0)
Arkab Posterior (mag 4.3) NGC 6774 NGC 6638 (mag 9.7) NGC 6805 (mag 14.3)
θ¹-Sgr (mag 4.3) NGC 6737 NGC 6440 (mag 10.1) IC 1309 (mag 15.2)
IC4816 (mag 4.5) NGC 6698 NGC 6528 (mag 10.7)
V3872 Sgr (mag 4.5) NGC 6596 NGC 6540 (mag 14.6)
b¹-Sgr (mag 4.5) NGC 6561
HIP 88839 (mag 4.6) NGC 6554
υ-Sgr (mag 4.6) NGC 6506
X Sgr (mag 4.6)
h²-Sgr (mag 4.6)
HIP 89678 (mag 4.7)
W Sgr (mag 4.7)
ω-Sgr (mag 4.7)
4-Sgr (mag 4.7)
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