Sagitta's unmistakable thin and pointed shape means that various cultures have known it as the 'Arrow' since ancient times. It is unclear whether it plays any larger part in the mythology of the sky, though some sources suggest that it may represent one of the poisoned arrows of Hercules, whose own constellation lies directly to the west. Despite the similarity of names, Sagitta does not appear to have any direct connection with Sagittarius, the constellation of the Archer, which lies somewhat to the south along the Milky Way.
The angle of the Arrow's shaft has it flying from the southwest, and that shaft is formed by a line from Gamma Sagittae to another redgiantstar, the pulsating variable Delta Sagittae. From there the shape splits, with two fainter stars representing the flights of the Arrow. These two stars are designated Alpha and Beta Sagittae (in a break with the convention that normally reserves 'Alpha' for the brightest of a constellation'sstars).
Sagitta is not rich in deep sky objects, but an important exception is the cluster known as M71. This is a globular star cluster, falling close to the line marking the Arrow's 'shaft' (that is from Gamma to Delta Sagittae). This relatively loose ball of old stars falls within the plane of the Milky Way, and at a distance of some 12,700 light years from Earth, it lies far, far beyond the four stars that define the constellation's shape.