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Sagittarius, Half-Man/Half-Horse Archer Constellation Facts and Mythology

Sagittarius Constellation Star Map

Sagittarius (Pronounciation:Sadge-e-tar-e-us, Abbrev:Sgr, Latin:Sagittarii) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Sagittarius takes up 867.432 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.1% of the night sky. Sagittarius is the 15th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means Half-Man/Half-Horse Archer . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

There are 25 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 2500 stars. There are 118 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Sagittarius is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Sagittarius is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The distance to Sagittarius is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Sagittarius is to calculate the average distance of the stars.

There are 71 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Sagittarius. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Sagittarius is VX Sagittarii. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Sagittarius Star List Page.

There are 15 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Sagittarius Star Facts

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Ross 154, Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Ross 154 which is roughly about 9.69 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 179949 which is about 89.85 Light Years.

HIP 92721, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 92721 and it is 108721.1 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

Kaus Australis, Brightest Star in Sagittarius

The brightest star in Sagittarius is Kaus Australis and is located about 74.23 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 1.79 but an absolute magnitude of -1.42 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Epsilon Sagittarii rather than having Alpha status.

141 G. Sagittarii, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Sagittarius with the naked eye is 141 G. Sagittarii. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan.

KW Sagittarii

KW Sagittarii is one of the largest known stars in the galaxy. If KW Sagittarii was in the centre of our solar system, it will have engulfed our planet and life would not have existed here.

Peony Star

The Peony Star is the second most luminous star in the galaxy and is classed as a Wolf-Rayet star. The most lumnious is Eta Carinae. This star has used up its hydrogen energy and moved onto other fuel. It is expelling plasma at a very high rate through its winds.

Pistol Star

The Pistol Star is a LBV (Luminous Blue Variable) and it refers to it expelling so much energy out. Its name comes from the nebula, Pistol Nebula of which it is part of. IOP. It is a extremely luminous star located near the galactic centre of the milky way.

Sagittarius A*

The centre of the milky way, a giant black hole is located within this constellation. It is located near the border with Scorpius. There are a number of very large supergiant stars in this constellation, them being KW and VX Sagittariis.

VX Sagittarii

Like KW Sagittarii, this star VX Sagittarii is one of the largest stars in the galaxy. We wouldn't be here if VX was located in the spot of the Sun instead of the Sun because it would be so massive.

Sagittarius Mythology

He was known as Crotus, son of Pan, a Centaur. A centaur is a half-man, half-horse. Commonly mistaken for Chrion who is immortalised as Centaurus . He was the protector of Muses where he invented applause. The Muses asked Zeus when he died to turn him into a constellation as a reward for his dedication.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Sagittarius

There are 13 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
SagittariidsJun 1 - Jul 15Jun 19  

Sagittarius Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Largest StarVX Sagittarii
Brightest StarKaus Australis
Area867.432 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.1%
Size Position15th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count71
Meteor Shower Count13
Nearest StarRoss 154
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 179949
Brightest StarKaus Australis
Dimmest Star141 G. Sagittarii
Furthest StarHIP 92721
Bright Star Count118
Hipparcos Star Count2500
Main Star Count25
Messier Deep Space Object Count15
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsAquila
Corona Australis

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Sagittarius

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Facies, Messier 22 (NGC6656)Globular Cluster9.6-11.6 kly-23:5418h 36m 4
Messier 18 (NGC6613)Open Cluster4900-17:0818h 19m 9
Messier 21 (NGC6531)Open Cluster4250-22:3018h 04m 6
Messier 23 (NGC6494)Open Cluster2150-19.017h 56m 8
Messier 25Open Cluster2000-19:1518h 31m 6
Messier 28 (NGC6626)Globular Cluster17900-24:5218h 24m 5
Messier 54 (NGC6715)Globular Cluster87400-30:2918h 55m 1
Messier 55 (NGC6809)Globular Cluster17600-30:5819h 40
Messier 69 (NGC6637)Globular Cluster29700-32:3118h 31m 4
Messier 70 (NGC6681)Globular Cluster29400-32.1818h 43m 2
Messier 75 (NGC6864)Globular Cluster67500-21.5520h 06m 1
Omega Nebula (M17, NGC6618)Diffuse Nebula5-6 kly-16:1118h 20m 8
Red Spider NebulaPlanetary Nebula5000 LY-19d 50' 34.8818h 05m 13m 1
Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24)Milky Way Patch Star Cloud with Open Cluster~10 kly-18:2918h 16m 9
Spiculum, Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC6623)Emission Nebula4100-24:2318h 03m 8
Statue of Liberty Nebula (NGC3576)Nebula6,000-61:21:4411h 11m 32m 7
Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC6514)Emission/Reflection Nebula5200-23:0218h 02m 6

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