Constellation Sagitta (Arrow)

Sagitta: IAU Constellation Map [150]


Sagitta is located in a star-rich region of the Milky Way, north of the star Atair in Aquila. It is a small constellation, but with a distinctive shape reminiscent of an arrow flying from west to east. The constellation, which is 80 square degrees, culminates around midnight on July 17th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names [154]
α Sge Sham, Alsahm
Data for constellation Sagitta [150]
IAU NameSagitta
IAU GenitiveSagittae
IAU Abbr.Sge
English NameArrow
Opposition14 July
Season (47° N)April … November
Right Ascension18h 57m 21s … 20h 20m 45s
Declination+16° 04' 45" … +21° 38' 37"
Area80 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Vul, Her, Aql, Del

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions


Constellation Sagitta
Constellation Sagitta: Illustration from «Uranometria» by Johann Bayer, copper engraving by Alexander Mair, 1603 [28]

Mythology and History

Sagitta is the arrow with which Heracles hit the eagle who pecked at the liver of Prometheus every day, as punishment for stealing the fire from heaven for the people. According to another representation, the arrow is supposed to be the symbol of cosmic light.

The Greeks called the constellation Tóxon or Oistos, the Romans Latinized it to Sagitta and the Arabs spoke of El Sham . [10, 21]


  • [9] «Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
  • [10] «dtv-Atlas zur Astronomie» von Joachim Herrmann; Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag; ISBN 3-423-03006-2
  • [15] «Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
  • [21] «Taschenatlas der Sternbilder» von Josef Klepesta und Antonin Rükl; Verlag Werner Dausien; ISBN 3-7684-2384-0
  • [28] «Uranometria omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata aereis laminis expressa» Johann Bayer, Augsburg, 1603; DOI:10.3931/e-rara-309
  • [150] IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020;
  • [154] Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020;