Star Names:

Fornax


Map of The Constellation of Fornax
Please hover over any star to get more information
Fornax is a constellation in the southern hemisphere. It lies in a bend of the celestial river, the constellation Eridanus. Its name is Latin for "furnace." The constellation was created in the 18th century by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. He depicted it as a furnace that chemists use for distillation and originally named it Fornax Chemica ("chemical furnace"), in honour of Antoine Lavoisier, French scientist and father of modern chemistry. Lavoisier was branded a traitor and guillotined during the French Revolution in 1794.

The constellation Fornax occupies an area of 398 square degrees and contains three stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +50° and -90° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of December.

Fornax does not have any stars brighter than fourth magnitude. The brightest star is [3874] alpha Fornaci, also known as Dalim and Fornacis. It is a binary star notable for its high motion. [3875] beta Fornacis, the second brightest star in the constellation, is a G-type giant.

There are several notable deep sky objects in Fornax. NGC 1316 is an elliptical galaxy about 70 million light years distant, located in the Fornax Cluster, the second richest galaxy cluster within 100 million light-years. NGC 1316 is also among the brightest known radio sources in the sky.

NGC 1097 is a barred spiral galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its centre, surrounded by star-forming regions and two satellite galaxies. It lies 45 million light-years away.

NGC 1360 is a planetary nebula that appears dim and elliptical in shape and has an unusually long axis.

NCG 1365 is another barred spiral galaxy. It has two clearly discernible arms and is one of the largest galaxies in the area.

NGC 1398 is a small spiral galaxy with a bright nucleus, surrounded by a number of faint galaxies in the region.

NGC 1427 is a small, irregular, bluish galaxy, 71 million light-years away, currently moving toward the Fornax Cluster.

Fornax belongs to the Lacaille family of constellations, along with Norma, Circinus, Telescopium, Microscopium, Sculptor, Caelum, Horologium, Octans, Mensa, Reticulum, Pictor and Antlia.

Constellations directly bordering Fornax are Cetus, Sculptor, Phoenix and Eridanus.


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