Universe Guide

Sagittarius, Half-Man/Half-Horse Archer Constellation

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 19 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.

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.

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.

Distance to Sagittarius

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 78.18 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 2,064.32 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 450.29 light years.

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, Sagittarius's 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, Sagittarius's 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, Sagittarius's 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.

How to Find and View Sagittarius in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

London, Great Britain

Although it is one of the Zodiac constellation, it is primarily a southern constellation. It is very difficult to see from London, it barely reaches over the horizon when its viewable.

Washington D.C., United States

The further south you, the better your chances of seeing it. If you're in Washington D.C., you will get to see it in a South-Easterly direction as it appears in September and then disappears again by October. Any earlier in the year, you'd be hard pressed to see it, you'd have to get up really early or stay up late. Any further north, say London, it is barely visible with the best time to see it being late June - early August.

Southern Hemisphere

Southern Hemisphere is the best place to see it, it will appear about 9pm in July time and then will rise higher into the sky during the night and successive days and night. It will eventually be unviewable in later January.

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 16 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
Daytime Capricornids-Sagittariids4th February  
SagittariidsJun 1 - Jul 15Jun 19  
July Delta Sagittariids11th July  
September gamma Sagittariids13th September  

List of Main Stars in Sagittarius

The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Sagittarius Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
Kaus MediaDelta Sagittarii347.7218h 20m 59.62-29d 49` 40.9K3IIIOrange
Kaus AustralisEpsilon Sagittarii143.3118h 24m 10.35-34d 23` 03.5B9.5IIIBlue/White
AscellaZeta Sagittarii88.2019h 02m 36.72-29d 52` 48.4A3IVWhite
Iota SagittariiIota Sagittarii181.8119h 55m 15.68-41d 52` 06.3K0IIIOrange
Kaus BorealisLambda Sagittarii78.1818h 27m 58.27-25d 25` 16.5K1IIIbOrange
Xi1 SagittariiXi1 Sagittarii2064.3218h 57m 20.48-20d 39` 22.8B9.5IbBlue/White
Omicron SagittariiOmicron Sagittarii142.0619h 04m 40.93-21d 44` 28.9K0IIIOrange
AlbaldahPi Sagittarii509.6319h 09m 45.83-21d 01` 24.7F2II/IIIYellow/White
Rho1 SagittarriRho Sagittarii126.9619h 21m 40.38-17d 50` 50.1F0III/IVYellow/White
NunkiSigma Sagittarii227.7718h 55m 15.92-26d 17` 47.7B2.5VBlue/White
Tau SagittariiTau Sagittarii121.6119h 06m 56.44-27d 40` 11.3K1/K2IIIOrange
Upsilon SagittariiUpsilon Sagittarii1782.3119h 21m 43.62-15d 57` 18.0F2pYellow/White
Phi SagittariiPhi Sagittarii239.3018h 45m 39.35-26d 59` 26.8B8.5IIIBlue/White
Chi1 SagittariiChi1 Sagittarii251.8619h 25m 16.45-24d 30` 30.4A4IV/VWhite
Psi SagittariiPsi Sagittarii298.4119h 15m 32.40-25d 15` 23.8K0/K1III+..Orange
43 Sagittarii481.7819h 17m 38.09-18d 57` 10.4K0IIIOrange
62 Sagittarii448.6420h 02m 39.46-27d 42` 35.6M4IIIRed
59 Sagittarii832.0519h 56m 56.82-27d 10` 11.5K3IIIOrange
52 Sagittarii189.6319h 36m 42.39-24d 53` 00.8B8/B9VBlue/White

Sagittarius Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Brightest StarKaus Australis
Area867.432 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.1%
Size Position15th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count71
Meteor Shower Count16
Nearest StarRoss 154
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 179949
Largest StarVX Sagittarii
Brightest StarKaus Australis
Dimmest Star141 G. Sagittarii
Furthest StarHIP 92721
Bright Star Count118
Hipparcos Star Count2500
Main Star Count19
Messier Deep Space Object Count15
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 Cluster9600 - 11600-23:5418h 36m 4
Messier 18 (NGC6613)Open Star Cluster4900-17:0818h 19m 9
Messier 21 (NGC6531)Open Star Cluster4250-22:3018h 04m 6
Messier 23 (NGC6494)Open Star Cluster2150-19.017h 56m 8
Messier 25Open Star 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
NGC 6723Globular Cluster28,400-36:37:56.118h 59h 33m 15
NGC 6822Galaxy-14 47 51.2919 44 56m 199
NGC6620Planetary Nebula-26 49 17.1918 22 54m 182
NGC6818Planetary Nebula-14 09 13.4419 43 58m 022
Omega Nebula (M17, NGC6618)Diffuse Nebula5000 - 6000-16:1118h 20m 8
Red Spider NebulaPlanetary Nebula5000 -19d 50' 34.8818h 05m 13m 1
Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24)Milky Way Patch Star Cloud with Open Cluster~10000-18:2918h 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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