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Hydra Constellation

Hydra (Pronounciation:Hi-dra, Abbrev:Hya, Latin:Hydrae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Hydra takes up 1302.844 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 3.16% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Water Monster . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Hydra is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere. The brightest star in Hydra is Alphard. There are 11 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) detailed on this site.

Size and Location of Hydra

Hydra is the undefeated largest constellation in the sky by area. It accounts for just over 3% which might seem a small amount but you need to take into account it is one of 88 constellations so it takes up more than its fair share of space. Hydra is a southern constellation lying south of the equator.

Items of Interest in Hydra

The constellation is home to a number of interesting variable stars, V Hydra, a variable star that is one of the brightest of its type at an apparent magnitude of 7, it is visible with a pair of binoculars away from all light polution. The other interesting variables are U Hydrae and R Hydrae.

Legend of the Constellation

Hydra was a multi-headed sea creature that inhabited the lake near Lerna in the Argoid. It was alleged the lake had an entrance to the Underworld which it guarded. When one head was chopped off, another two would grow in its place. The only way of killing it was to chop off its head and setting fire to the severed neck. Hercules would chop off the head and Iolaus, a companion would set fire. During the fight, Hera set Cancer the crab to make things harder for Hercules.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Hydra Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlphard
Area1302.844 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky3.16%
Size Position1st
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count11
Meteor Shower Count16
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCrater
Canis Minor

Hydra Constellation Map

Hydra Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Named Stars in Hydra

StarDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Alphard181.20-08 d 39 ` 31.309h 27m 35.25
Ashlesha130.47+06 d 25 ` 08.108h 46m 46.65
Beta Hydrae296.51-33 d 54 ` 29.311h 52m 54.56
Chi1 Hydrae141.81-27 d 17 ` 36.911h 05m 20.03
Chi2 Hydrae652.33-27 d 17 ` 16.111h 05m 57.55
Delta Hydrae163.08+05 d 42 ` 13.708h 37m 39.41
Eta Hydrae543.61+03 d 23 ` 55.208h 43m 13.49
Gamma Hydrae135.90-23 d 10 ` 17.113h 18m 55.25
HQ Hydrae362.40-10 d 09`57.008h 19m 15.11
Hydrobius163.08+05 d 56 ` 43.908h 55m 23.68
II Hydrae543.61-26 d 44`59.111h 48m 45.11
Iota Hydrae271.80-01 d 08 ` 33.609h 39m 51.33
Kappa Hydrae465.95-14 d 19 ` 56.109h 40m 18.38
Lambda Hydrae112.47-12 d 21 ` 13.810h 10m 35.40
LO Hydrae250.89-02 d 31`01.608h 28m 29.16
LV Hydrae407.70-33 d 18`55.611h 57m 03.78
Minchir362.40+03 d 20 ` 29.308h 38m 45.45
MO Hydrae217.44-26 d 44`18.112h 51m 57.97
Mu Hydrae232.97-16 d 50 ` 09.910h 26m 05.51
NS Hydrae815.41+01 d 27`45.809h 06m 59.95
Nu Hydrae141.81-16 d 11 ` 38.910h 49m 37.43
Omega Hydrae815.41+05 d 05 ` 32.409h 05m 58.38
Omicron Hydrae465.95-34 d 44 ` 40.811h 40m 12.82
OY Hydrae815.41-23 d 57`02.809h 59m 06.32
Phi Hydrae217.44-16 d 52 ` 35.910h 38m 35.01
Phi1 Hydrae232.97-16 d 57 ` 30.710h 32m 41.17
Phi2 Hydrae815.41-16 d 20 ` 39.610h 36m 16.68
Pi Hydrae101.93-26 d 40 ` 55.314h 06m 22.27
Psi Hydrae232.97-23 d 07 ` 04.713h 09m 03.28
R Hydrae407.70-23 d 16`52.913h 29m 42.82
Rho Hydrae362.40+05 d 50 ` 16.408h 48m 25.98
Tau 1 Hydrae56.24-02 d 46 ` 08.209h 29m 08.84
Tau 2 Hydrae543.61-01 d 11 ` 04.809h 31m 58.93
Theta Hydrae112.47+02 d 18 ` 54.109h 14m 21.79
U Hydrae652.33-13 d 23`04.010h 37m 33.25
Upsilon1 Hydrae271.80-14 d 50 ` 47.609h 51m 28.68
Upsilon2 Hydrae326.16-13 d 03 ` 52.810h 05m 07.49
V Hydrae3261.63-21 d 15`00.310h 51m 37.26
V335 Hydrae1087.21-34 d 07`31.012h 13m 12.97
Wise 0855-0714-07d 14' 42.508h 55m 10.83
Xi Hydrae130.47-31 d 51 ` 27.111h 33m 00.26

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Hydra

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
M48 Globular ClusterGlobular Cluster1.5-05:4808h 13m 8
M68 Globular ClusterGlobular Cluster33.6-26:4512h 39m 5
M83 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy14700-29:5213h 37m 0

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