Archive for January 8, 2019

01/08/2019 – Ephemeris – The river at Orion’s feet

January 8, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 8th. The Sun will rise at 8:19. It’ll be up for 9 hours exactly, setting at 5:19. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 7:55 this evening.

One of the more obscure constellations around is Eridanus, which depicts a river. The river starts near the lower right corner of Orion, near the bright star Rigel and flows to the right then down near the southwestern horizon, then it meanders along the horizon to the south before turning 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 earth circling river Ocean of the flat earth days. Achernar is actually two stars, the brightest was discovered to be the flattest star, due to its rapid spin. The dimensions of Achernar A has been determined to be twice as wide across its equator than from pole to pole. It’s 139 light years away.

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



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.