With an area of 1,138 square degrees, the Eridanus is the sixth largest constellation in the sky. Because of its faint stars, however, it is relatively inconspicuous. Most stars reach the fourth and fifth magnitude.
How to spot Eridanus
The constellation Eridanus winds between the constellationsOrion,Taurus,CetusandFornax. It can be seen in both hemispheres, best in winter.
The constellation represents the mythical river in which Eridanus, the son of the Sun God Helios died. Helios had allowed Eridanus to ride his sun cart in the sky. However, on the way he lost control of the horses and came too close to the earth, so that the woods caught fire. Enraged, Zeus threw a flash at the inexperienced Eridanus, who fell burning into a river. His sisters found him there, named the river after their brother, and out of sadness turned themselves into trees that can now be found on the banks of the river.