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Amazing Facts About The Constellation Sagittarius

written by: Sushma•edited by: RC Davison•updated: 5/18/2011

The ninth sign of the zodiac, the constellation Sagittarius is commonly known as the teapot constellation because the arrangement of stars look like a teapot to the modern observers. However, the mythological representation of this constellation is a centaur with bow and arrow! Read on for more!

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    Sagittarius : The Archer!

    Sagittarius is a Latin word, which means “an archer". It is one of the significant constellations among all the zodiacs. It is positioned between the Capricornus in the east and Scorpius to the west. There are some very interesting facts about this zodiac, which will be discussed here.

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    The Facts

    1. Symbol : An Archer

    2. Right ascension: 19.11 h

    Symbol of Sagittarius 

    3. Declination : -25.8 degrees.

    4. Transit date : 13th of July

    5. Visible at Latitude: This constellation is best visible between +55 degree to -90 degree latitudes in the summers.

    6. Best time to view: It can be clearly seen in the month of August around 9 pm.

    7. Area of Sagittarius: Approximately 867.4 sq. degrees

    8. Ruling Planet : JupiterPhotographic image of constellation Sagittarius 

    9. Brightest star: Kaus Australis (magnitude of 1.9)

    10. Nearest Star : Ross 154

    11. Polarity: Positive

    12. Position in the zodiac : Ninth

    {This photo of the constellation Sagittarius shows, enlarged in their true color, the main "naked eye" stars that make up the shape of the constellation. Image courtesy of http://www.scienceandart.com}

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    Astronomical Facts

    Stars of Sagittarius: The brighter stars of Sagittarius with their visual magnitudes are:Detailed map of Sagittarius 

    • Epsilon, Kaus Australis (ε Sgr) - magnitude: 1.79
    • Sigma, Nunki (σ Sgr) - magnitude: 2.05
    • Zelta, Ascella (ζ Sgr), φ Sgr - magnitude: 2.60
    • Delta, Kaus Media (δ Sgr) - magnitude: 2.82
    • Lambda, Kaus Borealis (λ Sgr) - magnitude: 2.82
    • Gamma, Alnasl (γ Sgr) - magnitude: 2.98
    • Phi Sagitarii (τ Sgr) - magnitude: 3.17

    The alpha star, Sagittarii is named Rukbat, and the beta star, Sagittarii is named Arkab. But these are not among the brighter stars of the constellation. Both have a magnitude of 3.96.

    The positions of the stars: The position of the stars on the symbolic arrow are:

    The bow of constellation Sagittarius is seen to be constructed by three stars:

    • The northern part of the bow is represented by the star Lambda Sagittarius
    • The middle part is represented by Delta Sagittarius
    • And the southern part of the bow is represented by Epsilon Sagittarius star.
    • The Gamma star makes the tip of the arrow.

    Other Deep sky objects in Sagittarius: Sagittarius contains many star clusters and nebulae in its area.Messier Objects in Sagittarius 

    • The brightest object is Messier 55, a globular cluster, which lies west to the δ Sgr.
    • The most prominent nebulae are
      • Lagoon nebula (Messier 8)
      • Omega nebula (Messier 17)
      • Trifid nebula (Messier 20)

     

    Tracing Sagittarius in the sky: The constellation Sagittarius can be observed on dark nights away from the twilight of the city. Summers are the best time to view it. It is best visible during the month of August. During this time, the Milky Way is overhead. In order to trace Sagittarius, we will have to trace the dense Milky Way and follow through to the southern horizon.

    {Image credit : Above right : Detailed map of Sagittarius as seen in totality. Image courtesy: http://www.utahskies.org/report/20010720/20010720weekly.html}

    {Image credit : Below right:Star map of Sagittarius showing the position of the brighter stars. Image courtesy: http://ottawa-rasc.ca/kid_space/activities/young_observers/1999_august/sagittarius.gif}

     

     

     

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    Astrological Facts

    Period: Nov 22 - Dec 21

    Archetype: The Wanderer

    Symbolic animal: Centaur

    Ruling Animal : The Horse

    Group: Theoretical

    Quality: Mutable

    Ruling house: Ninth

    Favorable Colors: Purple, Light blue

    Key Body Parts: Hips, Thighs

    Lucky Gem: Topaz

    Birth Stone :

    • (For November: Citron)
    • (For December: Turquoise, Zircon, Blue topaz)

    Cosmic Strengths : The Sagittarians are considered to have some very positive traits which is their strength. Most of them are honest, straightforward, intellectual, and freedom-loving. They are considered to be extreme extroverts.

    Cosmic weaknesses Argumentative nature, restlessness, preachy and tactlessness are few of the negative traits seen in Sagittarians.

    Chinese Counterpart: Rat. The relation between the Rat of the Chinese calender and Sagittarius is based on the fact that the Rat also rules December, which is the ruling month of the Sagittarian sign. However, the personality traits of the Rat (like the temperament and character) are more closely related to the traits of Scorpions.

    {Image credit:below: Sagittarius teapot asterism. : http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/File:Sagittarius-teapot-asterism.jpg

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    Sagittarius - teapot asterism {Image credit:Above: Sagittarius teapot asterism. : http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/File:Sagittarius-teapot-asterism.jpg

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    Some Other Interesting Facts

    sagittarius- The mythological image 

    1. Relationship with other zodiacs: This constellation is known as “Dhanu" in the Sanskrit language. It is considered detrimental to Mercury, the other celestial body. It is said to be compatible with Scorpio and Gemini.

    2. Mythological representation: The mythological representation of Sagittarius in Greek is a “centaur", which is a half human and half horse. However, according to the Babylonians, this zodiac represents “God Pabilsag", who has a loin’s head and wings.

    3. Mythological history: According to the Greeks, this sign has a history dating back from the time of Hercules. Hercules and Chiron (who was a noble centaur) were friends, but Hercules killed Chiron by mistake with an arrow. Hearing the grief of Hercules, Zeus blessed Chiron with a peaceful position among the stars as constellation Sagittarius.

    {Image credit : Mythological Image of Sagittarius : http://hubblesource.stsci.edu/sources/illustrations/constellations/images/th_sagittarius.gif}

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    References

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_(constellation)

    http://www.redorbit.com/education/reference_library/constellations/sagittarius_archer_constellation/324/index.html

    http://www.astromax.org/con-page/summer/sgr-01.htm

    www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Sagittarius.aspx

    http://www.sagittarius.arollo.com/mythology-history.html

    http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/S/Sgr.html