Scutumis a small constellation that lies just south f the celestial equator in a rich area of the Milky Way between Aquila and Sagittarius. It was introduced in the late 17th century by the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, who originally termed it Sobieski's shield in honor of his patron, King John Sobieski. Its brightest star is Alpha Scuti, magnitude 3.9.
Depiction: The Shield
Highest in the Sky: July to August
Size Ranking: 84th
Coverage Area: 109 Sq. Degrees
Right Acension: 19 hours
Visibility: 70°N to 90°S
IC 1295: Globular cluster
M11: Wild Duck Cluster
M26: Globular cluster
NGC 6712: Globular cluster
R Scuti: Variable star
Scutum Star-cloud: Milky Way Patch
Best Viewed Objects/Stars
A pulsating giant, the prototype of a class of variable stars that show very small fluctuations in brightness (a few tenths of a magnitude or less) over short periods of time (no more than a few hours). Delta Scutti itself varies between magnitudes 4.6 and 4.8 over a period less than 5 hours. It lies 190 light-years away.
A pulsating supergiant that varies between magnitudes 4.2 and 8.6 in a cycle of 20 weeks.
M11 (The Wild Duck Cluster)
A rich open cluster consisting of hundreds of stars, visible in binoculars as a fuzzy ball nearly half the apparent size of the full Moon. In a small telescope it appears V-shaped like a flight of ducks, hence its popular name. Near the apex of the V is the cluster's brightest star of 8th magnitude. M11 is about 6,000 light-years away and lies on the northern edge of a particularly bright section of the Milky Way known as the Scutum Star Cloud.