Short Constellation Guide

12 Signs of the Zodiac

Sternbilder Aries Pisces Aquarius Capricorn Sagitarius Scorpio Libra Virgo Leo Cancer Gemini Taurus

The Archer (Sagittarius)

The Archer is generally thought of as a centaur (a creature that is half man, half beast) drawing a bow. It lies between the Snake-Carrier (Ophiuchus) and Scorpion (in the west) and the Horned Goat (in the east). A few of the brightest stars in the constellation are arranged in an easily recognized form, referred to as “tea cup”. The center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, lies in Sagittarius, which is dotted with dense star clusters and nebulae.

From mythology – an interesting story that has been told for many centuries

In ancient Greece, Chiron was seen as king of the centaurs - the most friendly and wise among them. He was the teacher of Hercules, the great hunter. Chiron had also given order to the stars in the constellation in the way we see them today. On one of this voyages, Hercules had the opportunity to help out Pholus, Chiron‘s son, who was in danger. Chiron was very grateful to Hercules for his help, and so he placed a centaur in the Sagittarius constellation; this centaur was a great archer, and he guarded over Hercules from the sky and helped protect him from the scorpion.

Finding the constellation in the sky

The Archer can best be viewed at 9 o‘clock pm during the month of August. As an observer in the northern hemisphere, you will look south near the horizon in order to find the heart of the scorpion, the brilliantly red Antares. Left of this, you will find some bright stars that make up the Archer constellation.

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