Eri - Eridanus the River

  • Tau - Taurus the Bull

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    17 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Taurus the Bull is easily spotted. Its head is the Hyades, a V-shaped cluster of stars. His horns point outward from the V. Aldebaran is the red eye of the Bull as he charges down upon us.

    Taurus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.
    Biblical references: The Pleiades are mentioned in Job 9:7-9 and Job 38:31-33, and Amos 5:8. Other constellations alluded to in the Bible are Ursa Major and Orion.

    Skylore and Literature

  • Cae - Caelum the Engraver's Chisel

    Size

    81 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A tiny, faint constellation, located south of Orion, barely visible from 35 degrees north latitude in December and January.

    Created by Lacaille in 1752, as one of 14 constellations in the far southern sky named after scientific instruments. One of 17 constellations created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. ???

     

     

  • Cet - Cetus the Sea Monster or Whale

    Size

    4 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Aries and Pisces, one of the largest constellations. Trace to the second-magnitude star Beta-Ceti (Diphda, near the flukes) by following a line southward from Alpheratz (the corner of Pegasus and Andromeda) through gamma-Pegasi, across Pisces and Cetus.

    Cetus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  Killed by Perseus as he was attempting to devour Andromeda. Movies: Clash of the Titans; Internet movie database.

     

    Special Stars

  • Eri - Eridanus the River

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    6 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    The River Eridanus flows northward (like the Nile) from the bright star Achernar (Arabic for "End of the River") to Kursa (beta-Eridani) near Rigel in Orion. Eridanus is the longest (not largest) constellation, spanning over 50 degrees of declination, and its many faint stars glitter like reflecting light off the surface of its waves.

    The Nile to the Egyptians, the Po to Italians, and the Yellow River to the Chinese.
    The ancient astronomer Hipparchos (ca. 150 B.C.) called Eridanus the "River of Orion."

  • For - Fornax the Furnace

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    41 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A small constellation of faint stars nestled within a bend of the river (Eridanus), low in the south.

    One of 17 constellations created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. Created by Lacaille in 1752 as one of 14 constellations named after scientific instruments. He called it Fornax Chemica, the Chemical Furnace. Bode referred to it as Apparatus Chemicus.

     

    Special Stars

    Alpha-Fornacis is only magnitude 3.9. Declination: -29 degrees south.

     

    Galaxies

  • Hyi - Hydrus the Southern Water Snake

    Size

    61 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Hydrus has only three stars above the fourth magnitude.

    Hydrus is the Little Snake, not to be confused with Hydra, the big one.

    One of the eleven southern constellations created by Pieter Dirksz Keyser and Frederick de Houtman in 1596. These were published in Plate Aaa of Johann Bayer, Uranographia (1603).

    Special Stars

    Of easy-to-spot stars, the closest to the south pole is Beta-Hydri. Magnitude: 2.8. The south celestial pole actually lies in Octans the Octant.

     

     

  • Lep - Lepus the Hare

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    51 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lepus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    Star Clusters

    M79 (Globular cluster), mag. 7.5.

     

  • Ori - Orion the Hunter

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    26 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Three stars in a row make up Orion’s belt, within a rectangle of four bright stars representing his shoulders and feet.
    At sunset in the autumn, Orion’s belt appears to rise straight up on the horizon.

    Orion is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    The sword hanging from his belt includes M42, the beautiful Orion nebula.

  • Phe - Phoenix the Fire Bird

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    37 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Phoenix is one of four birds in the southern skies (cf. Pavo the Peacock, Grus the Crane, and Tucana the Toucan). Partially visible during early October low in the south from 35 degrees north latitude.

    The mythical Phoenix would end its life in a burning conflagration, only to rise once more from its ashes and live again.

    One of the eleven southern constellations created by Pieter Dirksz Keyser and Frederick de Houtman in 1596. These were published in Plate Aaa of Johann Bayer, Uranographia (1603).

    Special Stars