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Sagittarius

Sagittarius
AbbreviationSgr
GenitiveSagitarii
Meaning in Englishthe Archer
Right ascension19 h
Declination-25°
Visible to latitudeBetween 55° and -90°
On meridian9 p.m., August 20
Area
 - Total
Ranked 15th
867 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
5
Brightest star
 - Apparent magnitude
Kaus Australis (ε Oph)
1,9
Meteor showersxxx
Bordering constellations

Sagittarius (the archer) is a constellation of the zodiac, commonly depicted as a centaur drawing a bow. Sagittarius lies between Scorpius to the west and Capricornus to the east. Its brighter stars form an easily recognizable teapot shape.

Table of contents

Notable features

The constellation is easily recognizable through an asterism called the Teapot. The stars Kaus Media (δ), Kaus Australis (ε), Ascella (ζ), and φ Sagitarii form the body of the pot, Kaus Borealis (λ) is the point of th elid, Alnasl (γ) is the tip of the spout, and Nunki (σ) and τ Sagitarii are the handle.

The α star, Rukbat, is nowhere near the brightest star of the constellation, having a magnitude of only 4,0.

Notable deep-sky objects

The Milky Way is at its densest as it passes through Sagittarius, as this is where the galactic centre lies. Consequently, Sagittarius contains many star clusters and nebulae. One of the brightest of the star clusters is M55, about 7,5° west of δ Sgr.

The constellation contains nebulae such as the Lagoon Nebula (M8), near λ Sagitarii, beautiful in telescopes; the Omega, Swan, or Horseshoe Nebula (M17), near the border with Scutum; and the Triffid Nebula (M20), a large nebula containing some very young, hot stars.

The complex radio source Sagittarius A associated with the galactic centre is also here. Astronomers believe that Sagittarius A may contain a supermassive black hole.

Mythology

In Greek mythology, Sagittarius was the centaur Chiron, aiming his bow at the Scorpion.

Astrology

The astrological sign Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Sagittarius is associated with the classical element Fire, and thus called a Fire Sign (with Aries and Leo). Its polar opposite is Gemini.


Constellations of the zodiac : Aries -- Taurus -- Gemini -- Cancer -- Leo -- Virgo -- Libra -- Scorpius -- (Ophiuchus) -- Sagittarius -- Capricornus -- Aquarius -- Pisces



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