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Please Note

Orion has made the difficult decision to close our warehouse facility in the Netherlands. With the continuing supply chain/logistics challenges and slowness in the economy we have found that it is not economically feasible to maintain operations in the UK and Europe.

We have therefore stopped taking orders on this website. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We will continue to have Orion dealers in Europe to meet the needs of Orion consumers. We will also continue to honor the 30-Day product return period as well as honoring the Orion warranty for purchases made in the UK and Europe.

Our US-based Customer Service Representatives are here to help. Contact them via email at support@telescope.com or in the United Kingdom, via phone at 0-800-041-8146 (Monday-Friday between the hours of 1300 and 2400 GMT).

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Constellation In Focus: Hydra
Constellation In Focus: Hydra

Don't let the scale of the diagram above fool you: Hydra is the largest constellation, and covers some 90 of sky. At this time of year, from mid-northern latitudes, it lies along the southern horizon at midnight.

To start, M83 is an impressive barred spiral galaxy that, from our vantage point in space, lies almost face-on. Even small scopes should pick up its obvious structure.

M68 is a nice globular cluster, 33,000 lightyears away. It's visible in binoculars but a telescope brings out the individual suns.

NGC 3242, the Ghost of Jupiter, is one of the finest planetary nebulae in the sky. It's a full magnitude brighter than the more famous Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra. A small telescope reveals a pale blue disc with diffuse edges and the prominent 11th magnitude star. Due to its high surface brightness, this target takes high magnification quite well: try 200x or 250x to see the football-shaped interior and faint shell.

NGC 3115, the Spindle Galaxy, is actually in Sextans. In contrast to M83, this galaxy is seen almost edge on. It's a lenticular galaxy, meaning it's a disc galaxy with very little spiral structure.

April 2006

Date Taken: 05/24/2011
Author: Sean O'Dwyer
Category: Astronomy

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