Constellation of Hydrus (and the Magellanic Clouds)
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Hydrus (and the Magellanic Clouds)
Roll mouse over picture to see constellation outlines
Image and text ©2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images.

In the picture above south is at the top and the image covers 31.8 x 39.8 degrees.
Image centre is located at 02:23:32.3, -70:44:36 (H:M:S, D:M:S, J2000) Astrometric data from

Hydrus and the Magellanic Clouds
Best seen in the early evening in September

Hydrus, the Lesser Water Snake is one of Johann Bayer's less interesting constellations, intended as the southern counterpart of Hydra, the Great Water Snake. It winds between the two Magellanic Clouds between the south celestial pole (SCP) and Eridanus. So uninteresting is this part of the sky that we do not have a photograph of the complete constellation of Hydrus, except the wide field image centred on Horologium. However, the image above was intended as a portrait of the Magellanic Clouds circling below the south celestial pole and it shows the constellation unconventionally, with south at the top (and the alpha star below the horizon). The complete outline of Hydrus is show at a smaller scale on the wide angle image that includes Horologium, Phoenix, Pictor and the south celestial pole.

Also on this photograph is one of the few images of supernova 1987A showing it as part of the LMC. At the time this picture was taken it was visible to the unaided eye as a faint star in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Roll your mouse over the image above to see where it was. Also identified alongside the Small Magellanic Cloud is 47 Tucanae, one of the finest globular clusters in the sky.

Constellations adjoining Hydrus Dorado, Eridanus, Horologium, Mensa, Octans, Reticulum, Tucana.

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David Malin, 2010 September 16.