Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Teapot: How to Find Sagittarius in 2008

Sagittarius is easy to find this summer because Jupiter is right next to it. So the first step in finding Sagittarius is to find Jupiter. Look to the southeast after sunset. Jupiter is the brightest object in the sky. It is so bright that it can be seen before it gets totally dark.

Once you find Jupiter, look just to the west (right) of it. The brightest stars in Sagittarius look like a teapot. The teapot is another famous asterism. It is about 13° wide, slightly wider than your fist held at arm's length.

This is what Sagittarius looks like with constellation lines drawn. Jupiter is just to the left of the teapot.

This is the same view without constellation lines.

And this is a wide view of the southern sky. Can you still find the teapot? Hint: Start with Jupiter and look just to the right of it.

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