Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 08:46:06 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Eridanus

Eridanus represents a long straggling river in Greek mythology. The River Eridanus features in the story of Phaethon, who fell into it after a disastrous attempt to drive the chariot of his father, the sun-god Helios. The constellation extends for nearly 60 degrees from north to south, the greatest in declination of any constellation.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The River(Orion's River)
  • Pronounced: eh-RID-ah-nuss
  • Genitive: Eridani
  • Abbreviation: Eri
  • Highest in the Sky: November to January
  • Size Ranking: 6th
  • Coverage Area: 1,138 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 3 hours
  • Declination: -20°
  • Visibility: 28°N to 88°S

 Notable Objects

  • NGC 1232: Spiral galaxy
  • NGC 1291: Ring galaxy
  • NGC 1300: Barred spiral galaxy
  • NGC 1532: Ring galaxy
  • NGC 1535: Spiral galaxy

 Named Stars

  • Achenar, Alpha Eridani
  • Cursa, Beta Eridani
  • Zaurak, Gamma Eridani
  • Rana, Delta Eridani
  • Zibal, Zeta Eridani
  • Azha, Eta Eridani
  • Acmar, Theta Eridani
  • Beid, Omicron Eridani
  • Keid, Omicron Eridani
  • Angetenar, Tau Eridani
  • Theemin, Upsilon Eridani
  • Sceptrum, 53 Eridani

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Alpha Eridani (Archernar)

 A blue-white star of magnitude 0.5, the brightest star in Eridanus and the tenth brightest in the sky. It lies 140 light-years away. Its name, Achernar, is of Arabic origin, meaning "river's end," and the star marks the constellation's southern most tip. Nearby is Eridani, a wide pair of 6th-magnitude stars visible with a small telescope.

Epsilon Eridani

 One of the closest naked-eye stars to the Sun. It is 10.5 light-years distant and appears of magnitude 3.7. Although somewhat cooler and fainter than the Sun, it is otherwise similar.

Theta Eridani

 An attractive double star. The two components, twin white stars of magnitudes 3.2 and 4.3, can be separated with a small telescope.

Omicron-2 Eridani (40 Eridani)

 A multiple star with 3 components, including a red dwarf and a white dwarf together. The brightest of the trio, magnitude 4.4, is similar to the Sun. A small telescope shows that this star has a 10th magnitude companion, which is the white dwarf; this is the easiest white dwarf to see with small instruments. It forms a binary with an 11th-magnitude red dwarf, although a larger aperture may be needed to spot this. This remarkable trio lies 16.5 light-years away.

32 Eridani

 A double star with components of contrasting colors. A small telescope reveals a red giant of magnitude 4.8 and a blue-white companion of magnitude 6.1.


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