Finding Sagitta: The Arrow Constellation

constellations Sep 02, 2023

Positioned between the constellations Aquila and Cygnus, Sagitta is easy to spot by identifying the heads of these celestial birds. The Summer Triangle, a prominent asterism, can also lead the way to this arrow-shaped constellation. 

Ranked 86th in size among the 88 constellations, Sagitta boasts a rich history. Its Latin name, meaning arrow, reflects its distinctive shape. The ancient astronomer Ptolemy documented it in the second century. Summertime in the Northern Hemisphere is the optimal period for spotting Sagitta, while those in the Southern Hemisphere can enjoy its visibility year-round, excluding Antarctica.

Within Sagitta's boundaries lies Messier 71, a captivating globular star cluster. While it requires a telescope or binoculars to observe, its beauty is worth the effort. Additionally, nearby is the Coathanger asterism, which is a unique pattern that can be found near Sagitta.

Sagitta is linked to the tales of Heracles and Apollo in Greek mythology. Heracles used the arrow to defeat an eagle tormenting Prometheus, while Apollo, the god of archery, has his own connection to this arrow-shaped constellation. 

Additional Resources to Explore:

▶ Stellarium online planetarium: 

▶ 100,000 Stars: