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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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39Sagitta, The Arrow

NAME: Sagitta (SADG-ih-taw)

SEASON: Summer

CULMINATION: midnight, 17 July

ABBREVIATION: Sge

GENITIVE: Sagittae (SADG-ih-tye)

NEIGHBORS: Aql, Del, Her, Vul

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 6838 (M 71)

URBAN OBJECTS: none

Sagitta is a tiny, faint, north equatorial constellation that ranks 86th in size among the 88 constellations. Sagitta covers only 80 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 0.2%. Of the constellations visible to observers at mid-northern latitudes, only Equuleus is smaller. The brightest stars in Sagitta are fourth magnitude, and it has only five of those.

Despite its tiny size and lack of prominent stars, Sagitta is an ancient constellation, one of Ptolemy’s original 48. Although the names are similar, Sagitta ...

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