Hydrus is The Lesser Snake, as compared with Hydra. This Southern Hemisphere constellation has a fine binary for telescopes but little to offer binocularists. The constellation is due south of Achernar, alpha Eridani.
Alpha Hydri is the head of the Lesser Water Snake, high above the body. In fact the asterism reminds one more of a cobra. Alpha Hydri is due south of Achernar and in the same FOV. A tight group of stars south of alpha, about eight degrees -- just out of the same binocular view -- includes pi1 and pi2, an optical binary (that's to say, not a binary at all) of different colours, red and orange. The other two major stars, beta and gamma, are farther to the south, both being isolated in their regions and quickly spotted with the naked eye. Gamma is eight degrees to the southeast of this small central group and beta is a bit farther to the southwest -- about five degrees south of the Small Magellanic Cloud in Tucana.
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