Intro and Visual description
A small constellation of faint stars nestled within a bend of the river (Eridanus), low in the south.
Alpha-Fornacis is only magnitude 3.9. Declination: -29 degrees south.
The "Fornax Dwarf" galaxy is only 420,000 LY away (for comparison, the Andromeda galaxy is 2,200,000 LY). Although extremely close, it is extremely small, only 7,000 LY in diameter. Such dwarf galaxies must be very common, but obviously cannot be seen unless they are very close.
Fornax is crowded with other faint galaxies requiring a deep sky telescope.
Origin and History
Created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, as one of 14 constellations named after scientific instruments. He called it Fornax Chemica, the Chemical Furnace. Bode referred to it as Apparatus Chemicus.