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
Ancient
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
Neighbors
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
Achernar (mag 0.5) NGC 1291 (mag 8.5)
Cursa (mag 2.8) NGC 1407 (mag 9.8)
Zaurak (mag 3.0) NGC 1232 (mag 9.9)
Acamar (mag 3.2) NGC 1332 (mag 10.3)
δ-Eri (mag 3.5) NGC 1300 (mag 10.4)
φ-Eri (mag 3.5) NGC 1084 (mag 10.6)
υ⁴-Eri (mag 3.6) NGC 1637 (mag 10.9)
χ-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1187 (mag 11.0)
Ran (mag 3.7) NGC 1532 (mag 11.0)
τ⁴-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1395 (mag 11.0)
υ²-Eri (mag 3.8) NGC 1700 (mag 11.0)
Azha (mag 3.9) NGC 1400 (mag 11.1)
l-Eri (mag 3.9) NGC 1600 (mag 11.1)
ν-Eri (mag 3.9) NGC 1209 (mag 11.4)
d-Eri (mag 4.0) NGC 1421 (mag 11.4)
μ-Eri (mag 4.0) NGC 1353 (mag 11.4)
Beid (mag 4.0) NGC 1426 (mag 11.4)
τ³-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1521 (mag 11.4)
θ²-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1199 (mag 11.5)
ι-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1309 (mag 11.6)
g-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1325 (mag 11.6)
κ-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1453 (mag 11.6)
τ⁶-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1640 (mag 11.7)
λ-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1337 (mag 11.7)
e-Eri (mag 4.3) NGC 1461 (mag 11.7)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme