Sagittarius (constellation)

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Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, the one containing the galactic center. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is Sagittarius.svg (Unicode ♐), a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur drawing a bow. It lies between Ophiuchus to the west and Capricornus to the east.

Contents

Visualizations

The constellation's brighter stars (from left to right on the map: τ, ζ, σ, φ, λ, ε, δ, η and γ2 Sagittarii) form an easily recognizable asterism known as 'the Teapot'. The stars δ Sgr (Kaus Media), ε Sgr (Kaus Australis), ζ Sgr (Ascella), and φ Sgr form the body of the pot; λ Sgr (Kaus Borealis) is the point of the lid; γ2 Sgr (Alnasl) is the tip of the spout; and σ Sgr (Nunki) and τ Sgr the handle.[1][2]

The constellation as a whole is often depicted as having the rough appearance of a stick-figure archer drawing its bow, with the fainter stars providing its horse body.

Gallery

The Teapot asterism in Sagittarius.

The constellation Sagittarius as it can be seen with the naked eye.[3]

An image showing Sagittarius.

Notable features

Stars

α Sgr (Rukbat) is not the brightest star of the constellation, having a magnitude of only 3.96 (not shown on the main map as it is located below the map's southeastern corner, north is up).

With 16 stars in this constellation known to have planets, Sagittarius has more planetary host stars than any other constellation.

Deep-sky objects

The Milky Way as seen from the Earth is at its densest as it passes through Sagittarius, as this is where the galactic center lies. Consequently, Sagittarius contains many star clusters and nebulae. One of the brightest of the star clusters is Messier 55, about 7.5° west of δ Sgr.

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