Hydra

Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 20:38:31 Posted by  Bobby
hydra2

 Description of Hydra

Winding across a quarter of the sky, from Cancer to Centaurus, Hydra is the largest of all constellations, but it is hardly conspicuous. The "head" asterism just to the south of Cancer and composed of third and fourth magnitude stars is reasonably easy to see from suburbia, but the balance of the winding group is little more than a ribbon of faint dots.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Water Snake
  • Pronounced: HY-druh
  • Genitive: Hydrae
  • Abbreviation: Hya
  • Highest in the Sky: February to June
  • Size Ranking: 1st
  • Coverage Area: 1,303 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 10 hours
  • Declination: -20°
  • Visibility: 67°N to 79°S

 Notable Objects

  • Abell 1060: Hydra Galaxy Cluster
  • M48: Open cluster
  • M68: Globular cluster
  • M83: Spiral galaxy
  • NGC 3242: Ghost of Jupiter

 Named Stars

  • Alphard, Alpha Hydrae

 Best Viewed Objects/Star

Alpha Hydrae (Alphard)

 An orange-colored giant and 175 light-years away. The name Alphard comes from an Arabic term that means "the solitary one." It is an apt name because, at magnitude 2.0, Alphard is the only star in Hydra brighter than 3rd magnitude.

Epsilon Hydrae

 A double star. A telescope of moderate aperture is needed to split the two components of magnitudes 3.4 and 6.5, which orbit each other every 1,000 years or so. They lie 135 light-years away.

R Hydrae

 A variable red giant of the Mira type that ranges from 3rd and 11th magnitudes every 13 months or so.

U Hydrae

 An open cluster, just visible to the naked eye under good conditions but best seen through binoculars or a wide-field telescope. It is larger in apparent size than the full Moon and lies nearly 2,000 light-years away.

M48

 An open cluster, just visible to the naked eye under good conditions but best seen through binoculars or a wide-field telescope. It is larger in apparent size than the full Moon and lies nearly 2,000 light-years away.

M83

 A spiral galaxy that appears face-on to us, so that its arms are clearly visible through a large-aperture telescope and on photographs. When viewed through a small telescope, it appears as a rounded patch.

NGC 3242 (The Ghost of Jupiter)

 A planetary nebula, visible through a small telescope as a bluish, planetlike disk, hence its popular name.

Hydra
hydra

 Where to?

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