Sagittarius Constellation Facts: Here's All You Need To Know!

Nidhi Sahai
Feb 08, 2023 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Jan 11, 2022
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Kaus Australis, also called Epsilon Sagittarii
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.6 Min

Sagittarius is one of the 88 modern constellations.

This constellation is represented by a centaur pulling a bow back. It is also one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac.

Many astronomers consider the Sagittarius constellation as a ‘teapot’ asterism that has many deep-sky objects. The constellation Sagittarius has a fascinating history and contains some of the most luminous stars in the night sky.

The Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae, for example, are emission and reflection nebulae in Sagittarius. They're not just two of the most gorgeous massive stars-forming locations in the night sky, but they're also within a five-degree field of view. This constellation guides us to the galactic center of the Milky Way.

If you would like to know more about the stars in the sky, then you can read these Leo zodiac sign facts or learn about comets here!

Where is the Sagittarius constellation in the sky?

Sagittarius takes up an area of 867 sq. degrees and is the 15th largest constellation of the southern celestial sphere. It can be spotted between the +55 degrees and -90 degrees latitude.

The Sagittarius constellation lies between the Scorpius in the west and Capricornus in the east. It has many neighboring constellations like Corona Australis, Aquila, Scutum, Indus, Microscopium, Serpens Cauda, Ophiuchus, and Telescopium.

Sagittarius is located along the Milky Way, and the easiest way to find it is to draw an imaginary line between the Summer Triangle stars of Deneb (Cygnus) and Altair (Aquila) and extend the line a similar distance until it reaches the renowned Teapot asterism in Sagittarius.

The best time to spot the Sagittarius constellation in the sky is during August and September in the Northern Hemisphere. According to legend, Sagittarius the Archer shot Scorpio the Scorpion, who had been dispatched to assassinate Orion the Hunter.

What stars are in the Sagittarius constellation?

Sagittarius has many stars brighter than the Sun like the Pistol Star and the orange giant star. The Sagittarius cluster is also known as M22, the Omega Nebula is called M17, and the Sagittarius Star Cloud is known as M24 in the Northern Hemisphere. It one of the many globular clusters with notable stars.

Kaus Australis, also called Epsilon Sagittarii, is the brightest star in the Sagittarius constellation and has an apparent magnitude of 1.79. If compared to the Sun, this star is 375 times brighter than the Sun. Kaus Australis is the 36th brightest star in the sky and is 143 light-years from Earth.

Nunki, also called Sigma Sagittarii, is the second brightest star in this constellation. It is very hard to believe, but this star is 3300 times brighter compared to the Sun and has 100 times more speed. This star is 228 light-years far from the Earth.

Kaus Media (stars Delta) is the third brightest star in this constellation. It is the primary star and is a double star.

It is also called Delta Sagittarii and is a multiple star system. This star has a magnitude of 2.72 and is more than 1000 times brighter compared to the Sun. Kaus Media is approximately 300 light-years from Earth.

Ascella or Zeta Sagittarii is the third brightest star in the Sagittarius constellation and is 89 light-years away from Earth. It has a magnitude of 2.59. This star has a blue subgiant and a blue giant, and these giants are twice as huge as the Sun and 30 times brighter. Ascella means ‘the armpit’ in Latin.

Zeta Sagittarii is the third brightest star

Sagittarius Constellation Symbol and Features

The constellation Sagittarius resembles a massive centaur in the sky. A centaur is a legendary monster with two halves according to Greek mythology. A centaur is believed to have a human's head, torso, and arms, together with a horse's body and four legs.

This centaur in the sky is prepared to fight! He is wielding a big arrow and bow, the strings are drawn back, and ready to launch the arrow into Scorpius or the Scorpion's heart which is represented by the red supergiant star.

This centaur has a full head of hair and a huge flowing beard. A long cape drapes over his shoulders and billows behind him. The Sagittarius creature's body and legs resemble those of a horse. On all four legs, he stands tall and menacing.

This species is courageous and deserves to be respected. Bright stars are strategically placed to help you in drawing the image in the sky. The southern bow is Kaus Australis, the arrowhead is Alnasl, and the archer constellation knee is Rukbat.

What are the characteristics of the Sagittarius constellation?

The constellation Sagittarius dominates the southern sky and is a huge and interesting constellation. The Centaur, often known as the Archer, is a legendary creature. A centaur has a human's head, arms, and torso, together with a horse's body and legs. The centaur that is shown in this constellation is about to fire his arrow into the Scorpion's body.

The constellation Sagittarius is the 15th largest in the sky and the fifth largest of the 12 Zodiac constellations. Its surface area is 867 sq. degrees. Scorpius and Capricorn are two Zodiac constellations that are close neighbors.

Serpens, Telescopium, Aquila, and Corona Australis are constellations surrounding Sagittarius which are not part of the Zodiac. The constellation of Sagittarius has many interesting celestial objects for amateur astronomers to spot. It contains the brightest star in Sagittarius, Kaus Australis, a binary-star system.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Sagittarius constellation facts, then why not take a look at why do fireflies glow, or why do frogs scream?

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Nidhi Sahai picture

Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj

Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

Vikhaash Sundararaj picture

Vikhaash SundararajBachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

With a background in International Business Management, having completed his degree at the University of Hull. Vikhaash has volunteered with 'Teach For India' to help students create a monthly newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys sports and was the assistant captain of his school's hockey team. He has also gained marketing experience through an internship at Decathlon Sports India.

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