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The Archer

Sagittarius is a Zodiac constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere.

Sagittarius has been know as a constellation even prior to Greek mythology. It is one of the 48 original Ptolemaic Constellations.

Its name is Latin for "archer", and it is commonly represented as a centaur pulling back a bow.

This section describes the constellation as it is seen in the night sky.

For myth and star lore about Sagittarius click here.

Scorpius in the Night Sky

Star maps based on map provided by Sea & Sky

The stars of Sagittarius

Number Desig-
Number Desig-
16 ε Kaus Australis
26 ο Omicron Sagittarii
17 σ Nunki
27 μ Polis
18 ζ Ascella
28 ρ1 Rho1 Sagittarii
19 δ Kaus Media
29 β1 Arkab Prior
20 λ Kaus Borealis
30 α Rukbat
21 π Al Baldah
31 ι Iota Sagittarii
22 γ2 Alnasl
32 β2 Arkab Posterior
23 η Rabi al Warida
33 θ1 Theta1 Sagittarii
24 φ Awal al Sadira
34 ω Terebellum
25 τ Rabi al Sadira
35 ν1 Ain al Rami

Asterisms in Sagittarius

Sagittarius contains one of the most popular asterisms: Teapot and Milk Dipper. We have dedicated an extra page to this formation.

There is also an asterism called Terebellum derived from the Greek tetrapleuron, used by Ptolemy for a small quadrangle of stars on the hind quarter of the figure of the horse in Sagittarius. German astronomer Bayer transferred tetrapleuron into the Low Latin Terebellum.

Teapot; Source:Wikipedia Terebellum; Source:Wikipedia
The asterism Terebellum consisted of ω Sagittarii and the faint stars 59, 60 and 62 Sagittarii.

In In 2017, the IAU's Working Group on Star Names approved the name Terebellum exclusively for ω Sagittarii.

Sources: Constellation of Words, Wikipedia

In 1771, French astronomer and comet hunter Charles Messier published a list of diffuse objects that were not comets, to help comet hunters to distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects.

The Messier Catalogue contains 103 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Fifteen of these Messier objects are located within the boundaries of the constellation Sagittarius.

Ian Ridpath explains that "...Sagittarius contains dense Milky Way star fields that lie towards the centre of our Galaxy.

The exact center of the Galaxy is believed to be marked by a radio-emitting source that astronomers call Sagittarius A, near the border with Ophiuchus."

In addition to the Messier objects, Universe Guide list another eight deep space objects that are not visible to the naked eye.
Star maps based on map provided by Sea & Sky

Messier Objects in Sagittarius

Number Desig-
Number Desig-
1 M8 Lagoon Nebula
9 M25 Messier 25 / IC 4725
2 M17 Omega Nebula
10 M28 Messier 28 / NGC 6626
3 M18 Messier 18 / NGC 6613
11 M54 Messier 54 / NGC 6715
4 M20 Trifid Nebula
12 M55 Messier 55 / NGC 6809
5 M21 Messier 21 / NGC 6531
13 M69 Messier 69 / NGC 6637
6 M22 Sagittarius Cluster
14 M70 Messier 70 / NGC 6681
7 M23 Messier 23 / NGC 6494
15 M75 Messier 75 / NGC 6864
8 M24 Sagittarius Star Cloud

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