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February 23, 2011 February 23, 2011

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Hydra the Serpent's Head and Neck

Object: Stars

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: 3

Transparency: Good

Type: Deep-Sky

Constellation: Hydra

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 7:45 – 7:55 pm

Notes: Some after-dinner observing.  Tonight I decided to find something new and eventually settled on Hydra, the Serpent.  After charting my path in Stellarium, I first located Sirius by projecting from Orion’s Belt, then moved West ~35 degrees until the sight in the image above was in my binoculars.  Shown above is the head of Hydra, made up of a rough pentagon of relatively faint stars.   Xi, Sigma, and Epsilon HYA appeared brighter and had a greenish tinge through my binoculars.  In Greek mythology, Hydra was a ferocious sea serpent with many heads, who was the terror of any man or village in close proximity to it; Hercules later defeated it with the help of his nephew Iolaus [http://bit.ly/eODV62]. Overall was an interesting find, but if I hadn’t been looking for it directly, this constellation would have been easy to miss due to its relatively dim stars.

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