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The Constellation Sagittarius, the Archer
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Sagittarius

Sagittarius is a centaur, with the torso of a man atop the body of a horse. Unlike the wise and peaceful centaur Chiron (Centaurus), Sagittarius is aiming his giant bow at his neighbor, Scorpius. While this is a very large constellation, its stars are relatively faint and most people easily recognize just the central figure which resembles a teapot with a lid, handle, and spout.

More than a dozen objects reside in Sagittarius, including globular clusters. Recently, astronomers have discovered a small galaxy in Sagittarius that is crashing through the Milky Way.

Exactly who is Sagittarius? The Mediterranean people viewed him as Enkidu, the close friend of Gilgamesh, believed to be represented by Orion. Greek mythology associates Sagittarius with Crotus, the son of the goat-god Pan and Eupheme, the nurse of the Muses. He grew to be a skilled hunter, as well as a man with an artistic soul. The Muses, with whom he was raised, begged Zeus to honor him with a constellation equal to his great talents.

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Scorpius

More than any other constellation, Scorpius resembles its given name. If you live in the northern hemisphere of the Earth, Scorpius crawls across the southern sky, close to the horizon. But if you live...more

Orion

Orion, the Hunter, is by far the most famous seasonal constellation. No other is more distinct or bright as this northern winter constellation. The famous Orion's Belt makes the hunter easy to find in...more

Zeus

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Aquila

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Cygnus

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Hercules

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Lyra

Lyra, the Lyre, is a type of small harp held in the player's lap. The brightest star in Lyra, Vega, is placed in the handle of the harp. A small parallelogram of four faint stars just to the southeast...more

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