The Constellation Eridanus

by Dominic Ford
Eridanus Eridanus
The constellation Eridanus. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Eridanus is a long constellation which snakes its way from the feet of Orion, close to the celestial equator, all the way down to Tucana at a declination of almost 60°S. It can be found in the southern evening sky in the months around November.

It represents a mythical river, sometimes identified as either the Nile or the River Po in Italy.

It is the sixth largest modern constellation, but despite its size contains only two stars brighter than third magnitude. Its brightest star, Achernar lies at the far southern end of the river's path; its name is Arabic for ‘the river's end’.

Eridanus lies away from the plane of the Milky Way, but contains a number of bright deep sky objects nonetheless. Brightest among these is the elliptical galaxy NGC 1291 which lies close to the river's southern limit.

Date First Appeared
Sky Area
2.8% of the sky
1137.9 square degrees
Messier Objects
Eridanus contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Eridanus contains no Caldwell objects
The following constellations neighbor Eridanus: Caelum, Cetus, Fornax, Horologium, Hydrus, Lepus, Orion, Phoenix, Taurus, Tucana.
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Brightest Objects in Eridanus

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
HD (mag 0.0) IC 1952 (mag 0.0)
HD (mag 0.0) IC 2059 (mag 0.0)
HD (mag 0.0) NGC 745 (mag 0.0)
Achernar (mag 0.5) NGC 1363 (mag 0.0)
Cursa (mag 2.8) NGC 1413 (mag 0.0)
Zaurak (mag 3.0) NGC 1540 (mag 0.0)
Acamar (mag 3.2) IC 398 (mag 0.0)
δ-Eri (mag 3.5) IC 1983 (mag 0.0)
φ-Eri (mag 3.5) NGC 795 (mag 0.0)
υ⁴-Eri (mag 3.6) NGC 1108 (mag 0.0)
χ-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1323 (mag 0.0)
Ran (mag 3.7) NGC 1445 (mag 0.0)
τ⁴-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1455 (mag 0.0)
υ²-Eri (mag 3.8) NGC 1477 (mag 0.0)
Azha (mag 3.9) NGC 1492 (mag 0.0)
l-Eri (mag 3.9) NGC 1562 (mag 0.0)
ν-Eri (mag 3.9) IC 387 (mag 0.0)
d-Eri (mag 4.0) IC 1812 (mag 0.0)
μ-Eri (mag 4.0) IC 1898 (mag 0.0)
Beid (mag 4.0) IC 2040 (mag 0.0)
τ³-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 954 (mag 0.0)
θ²-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1157 (mag 0.0)
ι-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1328 (mag 0.0)
g-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1361 (mag 0.0)
κ-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1438 (mag 0.0)




Color scheme