Free Constellations Clipart

Abbreviation:  Hya
English Name:  The Water Snake
Genitive: Alphard
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.

Messier Objects

  • 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.)

Named Stars

  • 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.

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