English Name: The Water Snake
Hemisphere: Northern / Southern Hemisphere (Underlined means the more area in square feet in Southern Hemisphere.)
Location: Between the constellations of Crater and Antilia.
Visible between latitudes: +60 and -90 degrees
Best season: Spring
Seen in three seasons: Winter, Spring and Summer
Best seen in: April
Seen between: February and May
Right Ascension (RA): 10 hour
Declination (DEC): -20 degrees
Area (square degrees): 1,303 (1st)
Hydra (The Water Snake)
- Hydra is the largest of the 88 constellations in the northern and southern sky, measuring 1,303 square degrees; its head, formed by a loop of six stars between magnitude +3.0 and +4.0, lies just north of the Celestial Equator. The head of Water Snake is under the constellation of Cancer (The Crab).
- It should not be confused with the similarly named constellation of Hydrus.
- M48 – Open Cluster; visible to the naked eye under good conditions.
- M68 – Globular Cluster; wonderful challenging object for naked-eye detection.
- M83 – Barred spiral galaxy; also known as the Southern Pinwheel – one of the closest and brightest barred spiral galaxies in the sky, making it visible with binoculars. (Six supernovae have been observed in M83.)
Features of Interest
- NGC 3242 – Planetary Nebula; also commonly known as the Ghost of Jupiter; very high surface brightness and a bluish colour. (See the Video.)
- Alphard (Alpha Hya) – Orange giant star of magnitude +2.0. (Its traditional name means “the solitary one”.)
- Al Minliar al Shuja (Sigma Hya)
- Photo of the constellation; Hydra, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Hydra
- List of stars in Hydra.
Back to The 88 Constellations Lists page.