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 754 (mag 0.0)
Cursa (mag 2.8) NGC 1082 (mag 0.0)
Zaurak (mag 3.0) NGC 1102 (mag 0.0)
Acamar (mag 3.2) NGC 1150 (mag 0.0)
δ-Eri (mag 3.5) NGC 1163 (mag 0.0)
φ-Eri (mag 3.5) NGC 1191 (mag 0.0)
υ⁴-Eri (mag 3.6) NGC 1204 (mag 0.0)
χ-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1222 (mag 0.0)
Ran (mag 3.7) NGC 1262 (mag 0.0)
τ⁴-Eri (mag 3.7) NGC 1304 (mag 0.0)
υ²-Eri (mag 3.8) NGC 1321 (mag 0.0)
Azha (mag 3.9) NGC 1354 (mag 0.0)
l-Eri (mag 3.9) NGC 1364 (mag 0.0)
ν-Eri (mag 3.9) NGC 1388 (mag 0.0)
d-Eri (mag 4.0) NGC 1415 (mag 0.0)
μ-Eri (mag 4.0) NGC 1424 (mag 0.0)
Beid (mag 4.0) NGC 1452 (mag 0.0)
τ³-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1470 (mag 0.0)
θ²-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1552 (mag 0.0)
ι-Eri (mag 4.1) NGC 1577 (mag 0.0)
g-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1599 (mag 0.0)
κ-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1610 (mag 0.0)
τ⁶-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1635 (mag 0.0)
λ-Eri (mag 4.2) NGC 1648 (mag 0.0)
e-Eri (mag 4.3) NGC 1666 (mag 0.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme