If the Milky Way in Carina and Scorpius is bright and rich, how do you describe the Milky Way in Sagittarius? From Australia on a clear winter's night from a dark location, it dominates the sky, and if the location is really dark, it can cast faint shadows on whitish surfaces like cement.
The heart of the Milky Way galaxy dominates this photograph of the Scorpius-Sagittarius region. This region also contains the greatest concentration of Messier objects with around 20 visible in this photograph! Add to this a huge number of other deep-sky objects and you have a region that provides countless hours of viewing pleasure.
Central Sagittarius. The bright nebula near the centre is M 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. Just above M8 is M 20, also known as the Trifid Nebula. Near the top left-hard corner is M 25, while to the right of it is the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, also known as M 24. M 23 is the open cluster a little further to the right.
When observing the Milky Way in the direction of Sagittarius, we are looking towards the centre of our galaxy, and it is in this direction that the Milky Way is at its brightest. So bright in fact, that from a very dark location it is possible to se a faint shadow cast on a white surface! From the northern hemisphere, only a pale reflection of this glory can be percieved due to the low altitude on this region from there. To really appreciate this region in all its true glory, one needs to travel south of the equator where is may be seen virtually at the zenith during winter evenings. There are numerous deep-sky objects in this region. Some of them have been indicated in the image and following table below. The red dot indicates the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.
|1||Sharpless 2-13||17 29||-31 30|
|2||RCW 132||17 35||-32 30|
|3||LDN 1773 The Pipe Nebula||Image|
|4||Sharpless 2-13||17 47||-29 20|
|5||Sharpless 2-22||17 55||-25 00|
|6||M8 The Lagoon Nebula||18 05||-24 20||Image|
|7||M20 The Trifid Nebula||18 00||-23 00||Image|
|8||NGC 6526||18 05||-23 30|
|9||NGC 6559||18 10||-24 05|
|10||M6||17 40||-32 15||Image|
|11||M7||17 55||-34 45||Image|