Eridanus and Fornax - Downloadable article
Clear winter nights offer hardy observers a witch in the waters of the River and a dwarf in the flames of the Furnace.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Eridanus and Fornax" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 2.
Preceding the mighty Hunter Orion on its trek to the meridian are the often neglected star fields of Eridanus the River and Fornax the Furnace. It's a shame this region doesn't get the attention it deserves, as it is home to some detailed galaxies, a couple of fine planetary nebulae, and nearby galaxy clusters.
Eridanus has the sixth largest area of the 88 constellations, yet it is devoid of Messier objects and holds only three members of the Herschel 400 list. The most prominent feature of the constellation is a large U-shaped group of mainly 4th-magnitude stars whose eastern end opens toward Orion. It is the most easterly constellation in the ancient celestial sea and spans a remarkable range of declination. To find Eridanus look near the star Rigel in Orion. Then follow its sinuous path south to the star Achernar at -58°. One of the ten brightest stars in the sky, Achernar is a type B star located 44 light-years away. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 2.
|Deep-sky objects in Eridanus and Fornax|
Fornax Dwarf, NGC 1097, NGC 1232, NGC 1291, NGC 1300, NGC 1332, NGC 1350, NGC 1360, NGC 1365, NGC 1374, NGC 1379, NGC 1380, NGC 1381, NGC 1387, NGC 1399, NGC 1404, NGC 1421, NGC 1532, NGC 1535, IC 2118 (Witch Head Nebula)