The Hydra is a serpent that snakes across an immense amount of the night sky and is recognized by almost every culture that gazes towards the heavens in hope of finding something else to be interested in.
The Hydra is an interesting constellation with a great deal of interesting information that will be shared, hoping to bring knowledge to those who seek it.
Hydra Constellation Facts, Myth, Location and Stars
The Hydra is an immense spatial constellation that is well-known across the globe.
It is made up of a great number of stars and spans a huge area of the sky as the serpent that all the other constellations are in fear of.
Hydra Constellation Size
The Hydra is the very largest of all the constellations found in the night sky.
It is so large that it covers much of the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres.
In fact, the Hydra is known as an equatorial constellation as it resides in the sky above the global equator and stays fairly still for a great portion of the year.
Hydra comes in at a massive 1303 square degrees which is equivalent to 3.16% of the nighttime sky.
Clearly the biggest thing up there.
It contains seven named stars as well as 13 stars that have known planets around them and contains 32 Exoplanets and a total of 276 stars, though the main body is only considered containing 19 stars.
The constellation originates near the constellation Cancer, where it’s head lies, and it terminates the tail right between Centarus and Libra.
A massive expanse of the sky indeed.
Hydra Constellation Myth
This constellation is said to represent the Greek myth of the 12 miracles of Hercules.
The Hydra was told to have 9 heads, eight of which would grow back if they were severed and one that was supposedly immortal.
Hercules had to use great strength and skill in order to slay this beast and help to free the adjacent town from the reign of terror it caused.
Hercules was said to have taken fire to each of the necks when they were vulnerable and then cauterized the wound so that another head would not be able to grow back and continue to attack.
Hercules eventually bested the creature and became well known for it as the hero that the landed had been missing.
Hydra Constellation Location
The Serpent is an equatorial constellation, meaning that is finds its way along the Earth’s equator and be seen almost anywhere on Earth from different angles and viewpoints.
It is also one of the 88 Modern constellations and is recognized to be located mostly in the SQ2 quadrant of the southern hemisphere.
It can be found to be seen between 54 degrees positive and 83 degrees negative.
It is considered elliptical and is not one of the constellations considered a part of the zodiac group.
Hydra Constellation Group
The Hydra does conform to the group known as the Hercules group of constellations of which there are 18 other constellations.
These constellations represent the 12 Miracles or Labors of Hercules grouped with others like the Hercules constellation as well Canis Major and the Corvus constellation.
It is a group that is filled with those Herculean constellations named originally by the ancient Greeks, who favored mythology and their gods.
Deep Space Objects Contained Within Hydra Constellation
The Hydra constellation contains an amazing number of deep-space bodies within its boundaries.
It contains three Messier bodies, M48, M68, and M83. M83 is also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy.
There is also the Hydra Star Cluster, a dense mass in the universe and the Porpoise galaxy, named for the brilliant sea creatures.
There is also a nebula that is known as the Ghost of Jupiter or by some Jupiter’s Ghost which is a planetary Nebula discovered fairly early on in the history of astronomy in February 1785.
This is considered a magellic type irregular galaxy and is one of the oldest known to have been recorded.
On top of this there is the evidence of the constellation being associated with 6 of the known supernovas that occurred within the Milky Way galaxy.
These are the supernovas classified by the numbers 1923A, 1945B, 1950B, 1957D, 1968L, and 1983N.
Proof of the changes and living nature of the galaxy.
Stars that Associate with the Hydra
The constellation is a part of the 19 constellations in the Hercules group of constellations.
That means that it is grouped in with the Hercules constellation, the dragon and others to form the largest grouping of constellations in the sky.
It is not a zodiac constellation, though some Hercules constellations are found to have been grouped into two different groups.
The Chinese group this constellation in with one they have named the Vermillion Bird or one known as the Azure dragon and the nineteen stars that make it up are part of others in differing studies of the sky.
There are two predictable meteor showers that occur with an origin point that looks to be in the constellation.
The first is the Alpha Hydrids shower that comes in January and lasts from the 15th through the 30th of the month, approximately.
The other meteor shower is called the Sigma Hydrids shower and this occurs every year in the month of December, lasting from the 5th through the 15th of the month.
These are similar showers, and they occur fairly near each other.
If there aren’t too many lights around your house you may be able to see the showers with a clear sky and a good line of the visible sky.
The Hydra’s Tail-end
The Hydra is a fascinating constellation that spans a huge part of the nighttime sky.
Fitting that it snakes across the sky since it is also known as the water serpent.
This constellation is so complex and associated with many other known stars, which is fitting since it is the largest constellation that we ever will see in the sky, the largest of the 88 modern constellations as we understand them.
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