γ Hydrae

Gamma Hydrae is due east of beta Corvi, if you found this star while searching for M68.

Otherwise, it's most easily found by beginning at Spica (alpha Virginis); 12 due south of Spica is gamma Hydrae, the last 'hump' or coil in the serpent Hydra.

Gamma Hya has an interesting neighbour, R Hydrae, a Mira-like long-period variable.
      R Hya has a period of 389 days, when it rises from a faint 10 visual magnitude to a rather bright 3.5 or so.

You've nearly reached the end of the serpent's tail, which is traditionally marked by pi Hydrae. Sweeping your glasses two and a half fields of view southeast of gamma Hydrae brings you to pi Hydrae: binoculars.

Pi Hydrae is a bright (3.25) orange giant, about fifteen times the Sun's radius.

Some cartographers extend Hydra's tail past pi Hydrae to include the last of Hydra's stars, 54-60 Hya.

Click on 54 Hydrae on the map to conclude our exploration of Hydra..

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.