Eridanus: The River

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Eridanus, Th River

Eridanus as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Eridanus Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Eri Genitive: Eridani Origin: Ancient
Location: Celestial Equator Size/Area: 1138 sq. deg. Size Rank: 6
On Meridian: 9pm January 5th Best View (North): Winter Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Hydrus, Horologium, Caelum, Lepus, Orion, Taurus, Cetus, Fornax, Phoenix, Tucana

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Eridanus

Eridanus is the river that the body of Phaethon fell into when he was struck down by a thunderbolt from Zeus.  Phaethon was foolhardy enough to think he could drive the blazing chariot of his father, Helios the Sun god, across the sky.  But only his father was capable of controlling the powerful horses that pulled it.  He careened out of control, getting too close to the earth and scorching the lands of Africa, creating the deserts.  Zeus killed him when it looked like he would destroy the world.

Eridanus Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting stars and objects.

Bright Stars in Eridanus

These are the stars in Eridanus with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

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Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Achernar Alpha Eridani 0.45  Blue-White 3,150 suns 144 ly
Cursa Beta Eridani 2.78  White 54 suns 89 ly
Acamar Theta Eridani 2.88  White 163 suns 161 ly
Zaurak Gamma Eradani 2.97  Orange 2,172suns 221 ly