How to identify sagittarius constellation and its' various deep sky objects

As most of you would know the center of our milky way galaxy is in Sagittarius and it also contains many star clusters and nebulae. Although it contains many bright stars it is difficult to imagine the centaur hence the other famous asterism for this constellation is the tea pot. The few bright stars of this constellation are Kaus Australis, Kaus Meridionalis also known as Kaus Media, Nash, Kaus Borealis, Nunki, Ascella, Rukbat.
On the ecliptic it is placed between Scorpius and Capricornus. Above the ecliptic it is surrounded by Aquila, Serpenes Cauda and Scutum. Below the ecliptic there is Corona Australis and Telescopium. It has three relatively bright nebulae The Lagoon Nebula (M 8) ,The Omega Nebula (M 17) both these object have an apparent magnitude of 6.0 and the Trifid Nebula (M 20) it has an apparent magnitude of 6.3. Together these three Nebulas are known as the Sagittarius Triplet.
The Lagoon Nebula (M 8)

The Omega Nebula (M 17)
The Trifid Nebula (M 20) 
Apart from nebulas it also contains numerous star clusters. 
M 22, apparent magnitude- 5.1
M 24, apparent magnitude-4.6, it also contains a faint cluster ngc 6603.
M 28, apparent magnitude- 7.66
Apparent from these and many more objects one can also see the limbs of the milky way galaxy which extends all the way to Scorpius. The picture below shows the exact location of the Messier objects.


  1. I love your page but what are these objects supposed to look like through 15x64 binoculars? I located M7 for sure and then located what I thought was M8 that appears to have a grey "smudge" surrounded by stars on both sides. A long way above M7 are two nebulae that have diamond-like stars in the middle. Are these M20 and M21? Above these are two clusters that are shaped something like M7. Are these M23, or M18? I amlost. Help, please. Thank you.

  2. It all comes down to how good the sky conditions are, in your case I think the star clusters should appear more clearly than nebulas. It's difficult to say whether you in fact saw M21 and M22, what you can do is download a star gazing software or detailed sky maps and use a technique called star hopping. In this technique you first spot a major star or object using your binoculars and then using the maps you can search for the nearest star, you then locate that star on your binoculars and slowly move towards the object that you're trying to find. I hope this helps and thank you for sharing your query.