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Constellation Fornax (Furnance)

Constellation Fornax (Furnance)

Southern Hemisphere

Autumn Winter



The Furnance (lat. Fornax) is a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere. In it you may find the Fornax galaxy cluster, which contains 58 galaxies and, after the Virgo galaxy cluster, is the second closest with a distance of 60 million light years.

How to spot Fornax

Fornax is almost completely surrounded by Eridanus. The brightest stars are on the same declination as the brightest star of Piscis Austrinus. With an area of 398 square degrees, the constellation is best viewed in autumn and winter.


After the invention of the telescope, the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille named some constellations of the southern hemisphere that had not been recognized before. Unlike the 48 constellations of antiquity, which bear the names of mythological figures, he often used the name of technological novelties for the new constellations. Among them was the smelting furnace "le Fourneau", which was later added to the star chart as "Fornax Chimiae".