Eridanus ĭrĭd´ənəs [key], large southern constellation stretching SW from Orion for about 60°. Because of its long, winding shape it was identified with a river by many ancient civilizations; e.g., the Egyptians called it the Nile and the Babylonians called it the Euphrates. The brightest star in the constellation, Achernar , marks the southern end of the river. Eridanus reaches its highest point in the evening sky in December.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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