α Hydrae

Alpha Hydrae is called Alphard (Solitary One) short for Al Phard al Shuja, "The Solitary One in the Serpent", although it has quite a few neighbours: Alphard.

From its position and brightness Alphard serves as the serpent's heart and was aptly so named by Tycho Brahe: Cor Hydrae, a name which nevertheless didn't stick.

South of alpha, less than a degree, is 29 Hya (Struve 1357), a nice triple although the second companion is quite faint:
      AB: 6.9, 9.8; 55, 7.6".
      AC: 6.9, 13.4; 274, 18.4".

The snake's body stretches out to the southeast, below Leo. From Alphard to the southeast two and a half binocular fields is upsilon1, at which point the snake's body curls upward, toward the northeast to lambda before dipping down again.

Click on upsilon Hydrae to continue.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.