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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Daytime Capricornids-Sagittariids||4th February|
|Sagittariids||Jun 1 - Jul 15||Jun 19|
|July Delta Sagittariids||11th July|
|September gamma Sagittariids||13th September|
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.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Kaus Media||Delta Sagittarii||347.72||18h 20m 59.62||-29d 49` 40.9||K3III||Orange|
|Kaus Australis||Epsilon Sagittarii||143.31||18h 24m 10.35||-34d 23` 03.5||B9.5III||Blue/White|
|Ascella||Zeta Sagittarii||88.20||19h 02m 36.72||-29d 52` 48.4||A3IV||White|
|Iota Sagittarii||Iota Sagittarii||181.81||19h 55m 15.68||-41d 52` 06.3||K0III||Orange|
|Kaus Borealis||Lambda Sagittarii||78.18||18h 27m 58.27||-25d 25` 16.5||K1IIIb||Orange|
|Xi1 Sagittarii||Xi1 Sagittarii||2064.32||18h 57m 20.48||-20d 39` 22.8||B9.5Ib||Blue/White|
|Omicron Sagittarii||Omicron Sagittarii||142.06||19h 04m 40.93||-21d 44` 28.9||K0III||Orange|
|Albaldah||Pi Sagittarii||509.63||19h 09m 45.83||-21d 01` 24.7||F2II/III||Yellow/White|
|Rho1 Sagittarri||Rho Sagittarii||126.96||19h 21m 40.38||-17d 50` 50.1||F0III/IV||Yellow/White|
|Nunki||Sigma Sagittarii||227.77||18h 55m 15.92||-26d 17` 47.7||B2.5V||Blue/White|
|Tau Sagittarii||Tau Sagittarii||121.61||19h 06m 56.44||-27d 40` 11.3||K1/K2III||Orange|
|Upsilon Sagittarii||Upsilon Sagittarii||1782.31||19h 21m 43.62||-15d 57` 18.0||F2p||Yellow/White|
|Phi Sagittarii||Phi Sagittarii||239.30||18h 45m 39.35||-26d 59` 26.8||B8.5III||Blue/White|
|Chi1 Sagittarii||Chi1 Sagittarii||251.86||19h 25m 16.45||-24d 30` 30.4||A4IV/V||White|
|Psi Sagittarii||Psi Sagittarii||298.41||19h 15m 32.40||-25d 15` 23.8||K0/K1III+..||Orange|
|43 Sagittarii||481.78||19h 17m 38.09||-18d 57` 10.4||K0III||Orange|
|62 Sagittarii||448.64||20h 02m 39.46||-27d 42` 35.6||M4III||Red|
|59 Sagittarii||832.05||19h 56m 56.82||-27d 10` 11.5||K3III||Orange|
|52 Sagittarii||189.63||19h 36m 42.39||-24d 53` 00.8||B8/B9V||Blue/White|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||Yes|
|Brightest Star||Kaus Australis|
|Area||867.432 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||2.1%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||71|
|Meteor Shower Count||13|
|Nearest Star||Ross 154|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 179949|
|Largest Star||VX Sagittarii|
|Brightest Star||Kaus Australis|
|Dimmest Star||141 G. Sagittarii|
|Furthest Star||HIP 92721|
|Bright Star Count||118|
|Hipparcos Star Count||2500|
|Main Star Count||19|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||15|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Aquila|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|Facies, Messier 22 (NGC6656)||Globular Cluster||9.6-11.6 kly||-23:54||18h 36m 4|
|Messier 18 (NGC6613)||Open Star Cluster||4900||-17:08||18h 19m 9|
|Messier 21 (NGC6531)||Open Star Cluster||4250||-22:30||18h 04m 6|
|Messier 23 (NGC6494)||Open Star Cluster||2150||-19.0||17h 56m 8|
|Messier 25||Open Star Cluster||2000||-19:15||18h 31m 6|
|Messier 28 (NGC6626)||Globular Cluster||17900||-24:52||18h 24m 5|
|Messier 54 (NGC6715)||Globular Cluster||87400||-30:29||18h 55m 1|
|Messier 55 (NGC6809)||Globular Cluster||17600||-30:58||19h 40|
|Messier 69 (NGC6637)||Globular Cluster||29700||-32:31||18h 31m 4|
|Messier 70 (NGC6681)||Globular Cluster||29400||-32.18||18h 43m 2|
|Messier 75 (NGC6864)||Globular Cluster||67500||-21.55||20h 06m 1|
|NGC 6723||Globular Cluster||28.4 Kilo Ly||-36:37:56.1||18h 59h 33m 15|
|NGC 6822||Galaxy||-14 47 51.29||19 44 56m 199|
|NGC6620||Planetary Nebula||-26 49 17.19||18 22 54m 182|
|NGC6818||Planetary Nebula||-14 09 13.44||19 43 58m 022|
|Omega Nebula (M17, NGC6618)||Diffuse Nebula||5-6 kly||-16:11||18h 20m 8|
|Red Spider Nebula||Planetary Nebula||5000 LY||-19d 50' 34.88||18h 05m 13m 1|
|Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24)||Milky Way Patch Star Cloud with Open Cluster||~10 kly||-18:29||18h 16m 9|
|Spiculum, Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC6623)||Emission Nebula||4100||-24:23||18h 03m 8|
|Statue of Liberty Nebula (NGC3576)||Nebula||6,000||-61:21:44||11h 11m 32m 7|
|Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC6514)||Emission/Reflection Nebula||5200||-23:02||18h 02m 6|
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