5 Largest Star Constellations Visible from the UK

What beginning stargazers need to see and learn from the night sky

If you are new to the stargazing hobby, you are likely still in the process of “learning” the sky, and how to find your way around. While there are many ways of learning to find objects to view, one of the easiest is to learn to identify the constellations. Many constellations contain spectacular deep sky objects within their borders, so if you know where a particular constellation is at any given time, you can drastically reduce the time you spent looking for an object.

That said though, many constellations look nothing like the mythological creatures they are said to represent, and even some professional astronomers have some difficulty in identifying some of the more obscure constellations. Moreover, not all constellations are always visible from any spot on the globe, but observers in the UK are fortunate in that the five biggest constellations out of the 88 recognized constellations are all visible from within the borders of the United Kingdom. Let us look at each of these constellations in a little more detail.

Hydra, the Water Snake

This image shows Hydra relative to some other major constellations.

Image credit: www.space.com
Image credit: Space.com

Hydra is the largest of all the constellations, and it takes up 3.15% of the sky, which works out to 1 303 square degrees between latitudes +54° and -83° in the southern sky. Although the constellation is located in the southern sky, it is fully visible from the UK along with some others that also fall in the southern sky. The best time to see the Water Snake stretched out over its full length (102.5 degrees) is at around 9 PM (Local Time) during April.

All told, Hydra has 238 stars, of which Alphard (Alpha Hydrae) is the most luminous with an apparent visual magnitude of 1.98. The constellation’s star count includes 18 stars that host 23 planets between them. Notable deep sky objects in Hydra include the open cluster Messier 48, the globular cluster M68, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83), the Hydra Cluster of galaxies, Tombaugh’s Globular Cluster (NGC 5694), the Ghost of Jupiter nebula, and the spiral galaxy ESO 510-G13.

Hydra is bordered by the constellations Antlia, Cancer, Canis Minor, Centaurus, Corvus, Crater, Leo, Libra, Lupus, Monoceros, Puppis, Pyxis, Sextans and Virgo, which it makes it easy to identify, since some of the bordering constellations are very prominent.

Virgo, the Virgin

The image shows Virgo relative to other major constellations.

Image credit: Space.com
Image credit: Space.com

Virgo is one of the 12 zodiac constellations first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. Occupying an area of 1 294 square degrees, between latitudes +80° and -80° in the southern hemisphere, it is the second largest of all the constellations. Like Hydra, Virgo is visible from the UK because it lies close to the ecliptic. The best time to view Virgo is at about 9 PM (Local Time) during May.

Virgo contains the autumn equinox point, a point in the sky that marks the intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator. The opposite point is in the constellation Pisces; the two points mark the beginning of the northern autumn, and the southern spring respectively when the Sun crosses these positions.

Notable deep sky objects in Virgo include the very bright galaxies M49, M58, M59, M60, M87, as well as the famous Sombrero Galaxy, M104. Virgo also has 26 stars that host 33 planets between them, more than any other constellation. Constellations that border on Virgo are Boötes, Coma Berenices, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Leo, Libra and Serpens Caput.

Ursa Major, the Big Bear

The image shows Ursa Major relative to other major constellations.

Image credit: IAU/Sky & Telescope
Image credit: IAU

Ursa Major is the largest of the northern constellations, and the third largest overall, taking up an area of 1 280 square degrees between latitudes +90° and -30° in the northern sky. The Bear is perhaps best known for the famous Plough, or Big Dipper asterism (as it is known in the USA), it contains. Along with the constellations Orion and the Southern Cross, Ursa Major has a history dating back several thousand years, and it has been known in every major culture of the world, albeit under different names at different times. Ursa Major is best seen at about 9 PM (Local Time) during April.

All told, Ursa Major has 209 stars of which 18 host 24 planets between them. Apart from lots of planets, Ursa major also contains some spectacular deep sky objects, some of which are easy targets for amateur equipment. Some notable objects include the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101), Bode’s Galaxy, the Cigar Galaxy, and the Owl Nebula.

Constellations bordering on Ursa Major are Boötes, Camelopardalis, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, Draco, Leo, Leo Minor and Lynx.

Cetus, the Whale

The image shows Cetus relative to some neighbouring constellations. Note the location of the star Mira in the centre of the constellation; Mira is the prototype for the Mira class of variable stars.

Image credit: IAU
Image credit: IAU

Cetus is located in a region of the sky known as “Water”, along with some other constellations whose names are connected to water in some way. The constellation takes up an area of 1 231 square degrees between latitudes +70° and -90° of the southern sky. The Whale is best seen at about 9 PM (Local Time) during November.

All told, the constellation contains 189 stars, 21 of which host 27 planets between them. Apart for stars like Deneb Kaitos (Beta Ceti), Menkar (Alpha Ceti), and Mira (Omicron Ceti) that are all famous for various reasons, the constellation also includes some notable deep sky objects, such as M77, a barred spiral galaxy located about 50 million light years away, and the “Pac-Man Nebula” that is named for the arcade game character, because it appears to be slurping up the stars in the surrounding star field.

Constellations that border on Cetus are Aquarius, Aries, Eridanus, Fornax, Pisces, Sculptor, and Taurus.

Hercules, the (Roman) Hero

The image shows Hercules relative to other major constellations.

Image credit: IAU
Image credit: IAU

Although Hercules was catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century, it’s history dates back to ancient Sumerian times, when it was associated with the hero Gilgamesh in an epic tale that resembles some stories from the Old Testament.

Being the fifth largest constellation in the sky, Hercules takes up an area of 1 225 square degrees between latitudes +90° and -50° in the northern sky. All told, the constellation contains 245 stars, 16 of which host 19 planets between them. However, despite the constellations’ large star count, it does not contain any first magnitude stars, but the constellation is relatively easy find. Look for the prominent Keystone asterism that is made up of Pi, Eta, Zeta, and Epsilon Herculis, the four brightest stars in the constellation.

Some notable deep sky objects in Hercules include M13, a large globular star cluster located on one side of the Keystone, M92, which at about 14 billion years old is arguably the oldest star cluster known, the Hercules Cluster of galaxies (NGC 6210), and Abell 2199, a large galaxy cluster. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Hercules contains the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall, the largest known superstructure in the Universe. This conglomeration of galaxy clusters stretches over 10 billion light years in length, 7.2 billion light years in breadth, and 1 billion light years in depth.


So there you have it. The 5 largest constellations visible from the UK. Hopefully as a newbie to stargazing, you’ll find this useful in your quest to learn about what’s up there in the night sky to see and enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned observer or starting out from scratch, there’s always new and fascinating heavenly bodies to find and observe so have fun and enjoy your experience. And remember, the best way to see the night sky is to purchase one of the best beginners telescopes on the market. Buying the right one should last you many years to come and be a solid investment.

Watch Sky TV in Switzerland: Best Reception Quality

Gone all those days that televisions have bad receptions because in this new generation, with the satellites thrown into the outer space, many people benefitted much on the high quality reception that we are getting from our own TV screen.

If you would like to watch Sky TV in Switzerland, then it would never be a problem to get the startup package, because there are many local and international installers of the satellite system that are always willing to help you. You just need to find somebody from your location that you can ask to help you with the installation of your subscribed channels. There might be some requirements and additional materials you need to make sure that you are getting the best reception quality.

Aside from this, the Teckstar company has innovated a device that can be used as a Sky satellite receiving equipment, and at the same time can link your Internet connection to your TV screen, as well as perform to be a media player. Indeed, it is an amazing gadget which you can just purchase from Amazon. Get your Blade IPTV set top box, to grab an amazing TV-watching experience.

As the world continues to revolve, you can expect changes and developments that you thought would not occur in the future. Since every day we are living the future of yesterday, it is in today’s generation that you could expect new things, new inventions, like gadgets that once promised by technology to give us more comfortable and convenient life. This Blade IPTV set top box is one proof of the new technology that can be utilized to make our life more exciting even just sitting in front of our TV.

It is a device packed with the best features that you can enjoy if you have purchased your own. You can watch Sky TV in Switzerland and get this Blade IPTV set top box so that you can avail the surprises that your TV screen can offer. With just a few clicks on your remote, you can skip through hundreds of channels, experience the world, without spending thousands of your money. You can reach different places and meet different people, even just sitting on your couch. You can watch videos with online streaming, be updated with the latest news and happenings all across the globe, even if you are just in Switzerland.

With high definitions of the videos you can watch, then surely there will never be bad receptions on your TV screen anymore. Even your local satellite provider could help you on that, as well as the speed of your Internet connection. With these two elements combined in once device, plus the feature of being a media player with PVR playback features, it is the best TV deals you can get.

British TV Anywhere: Watch British channels abroad

Over the years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of TV channels in the UK. Up to a few years back, there were tens of TV channels on UK television, but today there are more than 500 Satellite channels available. Most of these channels are mostly news channels, home entertainment, sports channels and movie channels. In fact, the Tele viewership in the UK has also increased fast.

Remarkably, the number of people watching Satellite channels in the UK on a TV set, is less than the number of people who watch UK TV on various other devices. Also, the demand for UK based channels in different parts of the world has considerably increased in recent years. The UK broadcasters association has a very strict policy of prohibiting the UK bound TV shows and events on television other than in the UK. This is done to protect the rights of the producers of the shows and broadcasters who have suffered huge losses because of copyrighting issues in the past.

Most of the UK TV channels are transmitted by Astra2E Satellite communication services. These services follow the guidelines of the UK broadcasting network that doesn’t allow them to broadcast these channels outside the UK. Because of which most of the people living outside the UK have not been able to watch UK channels abroad.

A few years back, the launch of IPTV services brought big smiles on the faces of such people. IPTV has enabled every user to watch all British broadcasting satellite shows anywhere in the world at any time.

The IPTV that works on the internet IP protocol, serves the UK based channels in other foreign locations in a coded form. This is then been decoded by a receiver at the client location. This is done, so that no one is be able to copy the content.

This set top box also supports all HD channels with highest quality picture and crystal clear sound. A user can easily record his favorite TV shows through an IPTV outside the UK. It really doesn’t require a user to have television to watch these channels. In fact they can watch all British channels on their computers or even mobile devices by paying a small amount as a subscription fee.

British TV Anywhere

Wondering how to watch UK television abroad?

One being a permanent resident of UK would love to stay connected with the programmes, news and informational from UK. Still it is not possible for some who stay out of the European subcontinent. One can easily get a UK TV signal with a big enough satellite dish which is being sourced from a local vendor. But some time watching it is given with a choice of server s around the world to choose from. If ones want to watch UK TV abroad then all you need to do is choose one that is based in Britain.

If one is a permanent resident of Britain can avail it easily. but for those who stay abroad and want to watch UK TV abroad can now make it possible with the dist television accessed even from iPhone and other technical communicable devices.

Is it really possible?

Yes. Now with installing sling box, this would let to watch UK TV abroad with an ease. One can subscribe with this service and take a better benefit of it. Other than that one can even share their subscription in this way violate licensing agreements and let get a better than that. This is now entirely possible but one must not break the rules and right agreement reached between right holder and broadcaster.

Arguably, if one is usually a resident of UK, they can be the least one to be morally into the right.

How to access UK stations

With the services provided from various plug in spoofs there is provided a variety of IP addresses for a variety of countries. Here one need to use the Hola to convince the UK TV websites that one is surfing from UK. First they need to install the Hola unblocker browser plug-in on their web browser. This works on with chrome, fire fox and the android OS.

For getting through this one need to log into the site and click on download. After that there need to install the plug-in. While to watch UK TV abroad one is using chrome web store, there they need to search for Hola unblocker, and then click the free button in the extensions section of the results.

Watching British TV overseas using tunnel bear app

With Hola will help with the desktop web browser based IP spoofing. There are apps like tunnel bear that can be used on smart phones and tablets. This is also conveniently available through the web for PC and Mac. With the tunnel bear being installed on the iPhone or android one can select their own city from which they wish to see the UK TV. After that they need to surf the web in that country. So choosing the UK as on their location will allow one to access the iplayer, 4oD, and the rest through the apps built in web browser. But this web browser is not free. One need to get first 500 MB of data for free after which it will cost with at least $ 4.99 a month.


With searching for the UK TV to watch with the grace all over the world. This has been a grooming and free but get easily clogged up and slow down with making a confirmed service to provide with UK television shows.