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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Earthsky Tonight: January 16, 2010 – See a river of stars called Eridanus

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
www.EarthSky.org



16jan10 430 Earthsky Tonight: January 16, 2010   See a river of stars called Eridanus
Night Sky Jan 16


Here’s a constellation for you if you have access to a very dark sky. You won’t 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’s variously said to represent the Nile, Euphrates or the River Po. It’s also sometimes called the River of Orion.

Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it’s 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.

Written by earthsky

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