Sagittarius is without doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest constellation in the whole sky. It's prominent position sitting over the brilliant star fields of the nucleus of our galaxy ensure that it is very rich with deep sky objects that are visible in binoculars or small telescopes, whilst the glory of the Milky Way is evident even to the naked eye. The figure of Sagittarius is supposed to delineate a Centaur, that half man half horse like creature of Greek mythology, apparently holding a bow and drawing back an arrow, ready to let fly at anything within range. To the ancients, this was the centaur Chiron, who taught Hercules all his skills, only to be accidentally killed at his hand by a poisoned arrow. The centaurs were immortal beings, but the agony of the poison was too great to bear so Chiron begged Zeus to release him from his immortality. Zeus obliged, and at the request of his athletic son, placed the centaur in the sky in memory of his mentor. This legend has also been attributed to the southern constellation of Centaurus.

Notable Objects

The nebulae Messier 8 and Messier 20, the star clusters Messier 24, Messier 21, Messier 18, the dark nebula “the Pipe”