WITH EASTERN TUCANA, WESTERN RETICULUM, AND SOUTHERN HOROLOGIUM
Hydrus, the Water Snake (as opposed to the ancient constellation
Hydra, the Water Serpent), sprawls
across the center of the picture. The bright star to upper right
is Achernar in Eridanus. To the left of it is
Alpha Hydri. Gamma resides left of center, while Beta lurks
at lower center. Surrounding Hydra are (counterclockwise
from the top) Reticulum,
Mensa (center left), Octans (lower edge to left), Tucana (lower
right), and southern Phoenix (down
and to the right of Achernar).
The picture is
dominated by the two Magellanic Clouds, which are companion galaxies to
our own. The Large Cloud (LMC, 160,000 light years away) is to the
upper left, while the Small cloud (SMC, close to 200,000)
is just below center. The giant Tarantula Nebula
(30 Doradus) lies brightly at the LMC's upper left corner. Just down and to the
right of the SMC is the magnificent globular cluster 47 Tucanae.
The bright double toward the right center edge is Beta Tucanae: Beta-1
and Beta-2 combine to make the brighter of the pair, while Beta-3 is
the fainter. Alpha, in western Tucana, is
off the picture down and to the right of Beta. Zeta Reticuli is the elongated
double star just to the left of top center. Beta lies down and to the
left of it, while Delta and
Gamma Ret (seen also in
Eastern Reticulum) lie up and to the left, but
off upper edge of the picture. Far southern Horologium
is to the right of Reticulum, Beta Hor down and to the right of Zeta Ret.
Image courtesy of Chris Picking,
Starry Night Photography.