Who Discovered Constellation Sagittarius

Sagittarius contains a number of dazzling nebulae. Seen through a telescope, Sagittarius looks like a universe of light. In Latin Sagittarius means “the archer.” The constellation is associated with a centaur drawing a bow.  Sagittarius is found in Capricorn to the east and Ophiuchus to the west.

One of Sagittarius’s most spectral sights is the Lagoon Nebula (M8). It is considered a diffuse nebula: In the sky they look like scattered gold dusts.   Lagoon Nebula was discovered by Le Gentil in 1747.

Earliest sightings of Sagittarius

Ancient Babylonians referred to Sagittarius as Pabilsag or Nergal, a god with wings and the head of a lion.  The Greeks pictured Sagittarius as a centaur, a creature that was half horse, half human.

According to a popular Roman legend at the time, Chiron was a centaur who was the son of Saturn and Philyra. Saturn changed himself into a horse to break free from his very possessive wife, Rhea.

Sagittarius Who Discovered Constellation Sagittarius

Being the son of a god, Chiron was born very smart. He was exceptionally good at hunting, poetry, music, war, medicine, and the study of the stars. Chiron taught young Greeks in a cave beside the mountain.  His pupils observed him to be quiet and reserved. He seemed to be aloof and lost in his thoughts most of the time. He was never known to have a girlfriend.

Now one of his pupils was Hercules. Hercules would come to the came even when there was no class. He liked to talk for a bit with his teacher long after classes were finished. On one such occasion, and with wine to go with the talk, a pack of drunk centaurs attacked student and teacher.  In the wild scramble one of Hercules’s poisoned narrows scraped Chiron by the arms. The arrow’s poison was made from the blood of Hydra. Chiron was immortal, therefore he could not die. But he could not endure the poison’s pain.

To relieve himself, he gave up his immortality in exchange for Prometheus’s freedom from torture. Zeus, the supreme god, took the offer with much respect for Chiron. In the end instead of leaving Chiron in Tartarus as agreed, Zeus placed him in the sky as constellation Sagittarius.
When you look at the southern hemisphere skies between June and July, Sagittarius outshines the rest of the constellations. At the height if the winter solstice the sun appears in Sagittarius.

Constellation Sagittarius Who Discovered Constellation Sagittarius

Sagittarius according to the Greeks


The ancient Greeks told of the story of Crotus, a satyr that lived with the muses on Mount Helicon. Crotus played music and sang in the choir. He was the inventor of clapping at the end of a play and music. Crotus always did that with perfect timing and with such flourish that he endeared himself to the Muses. When Crotus died, the Muses entreated Zeus to honor the great clapper by placing him up in the heavens. Zeus made a constellation of a centaur instead of a satyr, recognizing Crotus’ other skill as a great rider.

In some quarters today, there is still confusion about whether Sagittarius was Chiron or Crotus.  It is more likely that the Romans tweaked the story. Ancient historians like Ovid, Hyginus, and Diorosos concurred that Chiron was a Centaur and not a satyr.


People born under constellation Sagittarius

Sagittarians are known to be very optimistic. As such they are full of energy.  They also love adventure and travel.

About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

Leave a comment