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Sky Tonight—January 23, Eridanus-a winding river of stars
Posted By Editor On January 22, 2011 @ 8:17 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
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Here is a constellation for you if you have access to a very dark sky: Eridanus the River. You will not see this one from the city, or even the suburbs. Eridanus the River begins near the star Rigel in the constellation Orion the Hunter – and wells up in a great loop before ambling back down toward the southern horizon.
Eridanus is one of the longest and faintest constellations. It has variously said to represent the Nile, Euphrates, or the River Po. It has also sometimes called the River of Orion or River of Ocean. In Homer’s day in ancient Greece, it was thought that the River of Ocean encircled a flat Earth.
Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it is very beautiful. And seeing Eridanus – understanding its association with a river in the minds of the early stargazers – can give you a kinship with those stargazers from centuries ago.
From most of the U.S., the River disappears below the southern horizon. However, if you live at a very southerly latitude in the U.S., you can see a special sight: the star that represents the end of the River. This star is Achernar .
Can you find this long, meandering river of stars called Eridanus in your sky?
Written by EarthSky 
EarthSky: Space 
CHANDRA Photo Album 
Universe Today 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Simostronomy Blog 
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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2011/01/22/sky-tonight%e2%80%94january-23-eridanus-a-winding-river-of-stars/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/phase23.gif
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/23jan.jpg
 Bright star in southwest on January evenings? It’s the planet Jupiter: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/bright-object-planet-jupiter-2011-planets-2011-planets-tonight
 Rigel: Orion’s brightest star: http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/blue-white-rigel-is-orions-brightest-star
 Bright object in the southeast before sunrise? It’s the planet Venus: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/bright-object-planet-venus-2011-planets-2011-planets-tonight
 Achernar: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/brightest-stars/bright-achernar-ends-the-southern-river
 Star Achernar marks the end of the River: http://earthsky.org/tonight/star-achernar-marks-the-end-of-the-river
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Earth-amp.png
 EarthSky: http://earthsky.org/author/Earth%20&%20Sky/
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 EarthSky: Space: http://earthsky.org/space
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Simostronomy Blog: http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
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