| SAGITTARIUS Chart | Midnight Culmination | Skylore | Description | Asterisms |
| Nebulae | Star Clusters | Discussed in these Shows |

Constellation Data

  • Translation: Archer
  • Abbreviation: Sgr
  • Genitive: Sagittarii
  • Size: 15
  • Regions: Zodiac
  • RA: 19 hours
  • Decl: -30 degrees
  • Season: Summer
  • Midnight Culmination: July 7
  • Pages where SAGITTARIUS is discussed in Chet Raymo's 365 Starry Nights: 118-124

What is the Genitive form?
What is Right Ascension (RA)?
Is this constellation ever visible from my latitude? What is Declination?

Where should I look for a constellation on a date before or after its midnight culmination? What is Midnight Culmination?


Centaur, half-man and half-horse, shooting an arrow. Chiron, wise and courageous tutor to Hercules, was wounded in a terrible accident by a poison-tipped arrow shot by Hercules. In response to his anguished pleas for mortality to end the pain, Zeus exalted Chiron to the sky. See constellation Sagitta.


Look for teapot pattern to the east of Scorpius, complete with handle, lid, and spout. Tea pouring from the spout would indicate the direction of the center of Milky Way, and the entire constellation is rich with many stars. Try binoculars in the area where clusters gather like steam rising from the teapot.

Sagittarius was a Centaur, the wise Chiron (KIGH-ron), teacher of Hercules and brave in battle. If you cannot see a creature half-man and half-horse in these stars, then try looking for a teapot. Four stars make the pot... Two stars form a handle... One star is a lid... And the tip of the bowman's arrow makes a spout.

If you look right where tea would pour out of the spout, you are looking toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The sky in this direction is filled with stars.

Scan it with binoculars, and you will see cluster after cluster of stars, rising like little clouds of steam above the teapot.

The sun is in Sagittarius at its southernmost point, the winter solstice.

[star chart]

Star chart created with Voyager II Software for Macintosh, published by Carina Software. This is just a taste of what Voyager can do! For info on Voyager II software, call Carina Software at (510) 355-1266, write them at 12919 Alcosta Blvd Suite #7, San Ramon, CA 94583, or visit Carina Software's home page and check out Voyager II for yourself.




What is an Asterism?


M8, Lagoon Nebula (Diffuse nebula), mag. 5.1

M20, Trifid Nebula (Diffuse nebula), mag. 8.5.

What are Nebulae?
Table of Messier Objects.
What is apparent Magnitude?

Star Clusters

M17, Omega or Swan Nebula (Galacitc cluster), mag. 7.5.

M18 (Galactic cluster), mag. 7.2.

M21 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.5.

M22 (Globular cluster), mag. 5.6.

M23 (Galactic cluster), mag. 5.9.

M24 (Galactic cluster), mag. 4.6.

M25 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.2.

M28 (Globular cluster), mag. 7.6.

M54 (Globular cluster), mag. 7.8.

M55 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.2.

M69 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.0.

M70 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.1.

M75 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.6.

What are Star Clusters?

Discussed in these Shows

[Small Logo] ©1997 Welcome to the Basic Celestial Phenomena web site. To provide explanations of basic observational astronomy to students, teachers, families, and visitors to planetariums these pages have been written by an ex-OBU Planetarium Director, Kerry Magruder; the OBU Natural Sciences Coordinator, Mike Keas; and some of the students who work in the OBU planetarium.

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