Sgr - Sagittarius the Archer

Intro and Visual description

Look for teapot pattern to the east of Scorpius, complete with handle, lid, and spout. Tea pouring from the spout would indicate the direction of the center of Milky Way, and the entire constellation is rich with many stars. Try binoculars in the area where clusters gather like steam rising from the teapot.

Centaur, half-man and half-horse, shooting an arrow. If you cannot see a creature half-man and half-horse in these stars, then try looking for a teapot. Four stars make the pot... Two stars form a handle... One star is a lid... And the tip of the bowman’s arrow makes a spout.

If you look right where tea would pour out of the spout, you are looking toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The sky in this direction is filled with stars. Scan it with binoculars, and you will see cluster after cluster of stars, rising like little clouds of steam above the teapot.

The sun is in Sagittarius at its southernmost point, the winter solstice.

Origin and History

Sagittarius is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

Skylore, Literature and Culture

Sagittarius was a Centaur, the wise Chiron (KIGH-ron), teacher of Hercules and brave in battle. Chiron, wise and courageous tutor to Hercules, was wounded in a terrible accident by a poison-tipped arrow shot by Hercules. In response to his anguished pleas for mortality to end the pain, Zeus exalted Chiron to the sky. See constellation Sagitta.