In Episode SH052 of Star Hopping…
we’ll check out the Hydra region, and locate three very different types of deep sky objects. The first we’ll check out is NGC 3521, a large angled spiral galaxy, then we’ll find NGC 3115, better known as the Spindle Galaxy, an edge-on lenticular galaxy in Sextans, and finally the tiny Ghost of Jupiter planetary nebula in Hydra itself.
Tonight we’ll be exploring in and around the largest constellation in the Sky, Hydra, the Sea Serpent. It stretches and zig-zags across more than a quarter of the celestial sphere. Some of its stars are relatively bright, but they are so scattered that they are hard to distinguish as a single constellation. The one standout star in the heart of Hydra is second magnitude Alphard, which will be our home base for the last two star hops in this episode.
Our targets tonight are pretty diverse, the first two are large and bright galaxies, and the last one is a small but famous planetary nebula. I was surprised when I realized how large this first galaxy is – we’ll head out on our star hopping expedition right after this break – stay tuned.
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Credits for this Episode
- NGC 3521 image by Dr. Steve Mazlin / SSRO
- NGC 3115 image by CGS
- NGC 3242 image from Wikimedia Commons