Home > Constellations, Ephemeris Program > 01/17/2017 – Ephemeris – Denial is not a river in the sky

01/17/2017 – Ephemeris – Denial is not a river in the sky

January 17, 2017

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 17th.  The Sun will rise at 8:14.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 5:31.  The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:32 this evening.

One of the more obscure constellations around is Eridanus, which depicts a river. At 9 p.m. the river starts near the lower right corner of Orion, near the bright star Rigel and flows to the right then zigzags down to the left, then down to the right near the southern horizon, then it heads south below the horizon. One has to travel to the far south to see the southern terminus of the river, the bright star Achernar.  Writers over the ages have seen here the Nile and the world circling river Ocean of the flat Earth days.  Achernar was recently discovered to be the flattest star known, due to its rapid spin.  The dimensions of Achernar have been determined to be twice as wide across its equator than from pole to pole.  It’s 139 light years away.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Eridanus

An animation of the constellation Eridanus which is a river that flows from Rigel in Orion to the star Achernar below our southern horizon at latitude 45 degrees north. Create using Stellarium and GIMP.

Achernar

A model of Achernar by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

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