Sagittarius - Downloadable article
Sagittarius holds the heart of the galaxy, and with it, a bounty of Milky Way star clouds, clusters, and nebulae.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Sagittarius" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 10.
On warm summer nights, it's irresistible to gaze toward the center of our galaxy within the great constellation Sagittarius the Archer. Loaded with star clouds, clusters, and bright and dark nebulae, the constellation could easily keep a telescopic observer busy for an entire observing season.
Before diving in with the telescope, though, it's worth spending some time discussing what Sagittarius offers unaided eyes. The most prominent pattern in the constellation is the Teapot, an asterism of eight 2nd- and 3rd-magnitude stars that resembles its namesake. The Teapot's stars range in distance from 80 to 300 light-years. At the top of the Teapot is Lambda (λ) Sagittarii, the asterism's closest star, while Delta (δ) Sagittarii is its most distant and nearly 20 times as luminous as Lambda. It's easy to think of the Teapot as occupying most of the constellation's area, but in fact, Sagittarius is several times larger. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 10.
|Deep-sky objects in Sagittarius|
NGC 6445, M23 (NGC 6494), M20 (NGC 6514), Barnard 86, NGC 6520, NGC 6522, M8 (NGC 6523), M21 (NGC 6531), NGC 6563, M24 (IC 4715), M18 (NGC 6613), M17 (NGC 6618), M28 (NGC 6626), M69 (NGC 6637), M25 (IC 4725), NGC 6645, M22 (NGC 6656), M70 (NGC 6681), M54 (NGC 6715), NGC 6723, M55 (NGC 6809), NGC 6818, NGC 6822, M75 (NGC 6864)