Sagittarius: The Archer

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Sagittarius, The Archer

Sagittarius as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Sagittarius Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Sgr Genitive: Sagittarii Origin: Ancient
Location: Southern Hemisphere Size/Area: 867 sq. deg. Size Rank: 15
On Meridian: 9pm August 20th Best View (North): Summer Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Aquila, Scutum, Serpens Cauda, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Corona Australis, Telescopium, Indus, Microscopium, Capricornus

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Sagittarius

The myth behind Sagittarius, “The Archer”, is uncertain.  Hyginus, a Roman mythographer, states that the constellation represents Crotus, son of Pan.  He invented archery and lived with the Muses on Mount Helicon.  They asked Zeus to place Crotus in the sky where he demonstrates the art of archery.

Sagittarius Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Sagittarius
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
Lagoon Nebula M8 NGC 6523 Nebula Binoculars
Omega Nebula M17 NGC 6618 Nebula with Cluster Binoculars
M18 NGC 6613 Open Cluster Binoculars
Trifid Nebula M20 NGC 6514 Nebula with Cluster Binoculars
M21 NGC 6531 Open Cluster Binoculars
Sagittarius Cluster M22 NGC 6656 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M23 NGC 6494 Open Cluster Binoculars
Sagittarius Star Cloud M24 Milky Way Star Cloud Naked-Eye
M25 Open Cluster Naked-Eye
M28 NGC 6626 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M54 NGC 6715 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M55 NGC 6809 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M69 NGC 6637 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M70 NGC 6681 Globular Cluster Binoculars
M75 NGC 6864 Globular Cluster Binoculars

 

Bright Stars in Sagittarius

These are the stars in Sagittarius with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Kaus Australis Epsilon Sagittarii 1.79  Blue 375 suns 145 ly
Nunki Sigma Sagittarii 2.05  Blue 1,392 suns 225 ly
Ascella Zeta Sagittarii 2.60  White 67 suns 89 ly
Kaus Media Delta Sagittarii 2.72  Orange 2,415 suns 306 ly
Kaus Borealis Lambda Sagittarii 2.82  Orange 52 suns 77 ly
Al Baldah Pi Sagittarii 2.88  Yellow-White 1,115 suns 440 ly
Alnasl Gamma Sagittarii 2.98  Orange 74 suns 96 ly