Universe Guide

Fornax, The Furnace Constellation

Fornax Constellation Star Map

Fornax (Pronounciation:For-nax, Abbrev:For, Latin:Fornacis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Fornax takes up 397.502 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.96% of the night sky. Fornax is the 41st largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Furnace . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille years later.

There are 3 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 1069 stars. There are 26 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Fornax is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Fornax is a southern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the northern hemisphere.

There are 8 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Fornax.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Distance to Fornax

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 46.44 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 371.06 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 196.72 light years.

Fornax Star Facts

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

HIP 14559, Fornax's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 14559 which is roughly about 28.43 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 20781 which is about 115.37 Light Years.

HIP 17712, Fornax's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 17712 and it is 108721.1 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

Alpha Fornacis, Brightest Star in Fornax

The brightest star in Fornax is Alpha Fornacis and is located about 229.10 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.8 but an absolute magnitude of 3.03 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is recognised as being the brightest in the constellation as it has the Bayer status of Alpha.

HD 16975, Fornax's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Fornax with the naked eye is HD 16975. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan.

Fornax Mythology

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts in the southern hemisphere.

Fornax Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Fornacis
Area397.502 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.96%
Size Position41st
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count8
Meteor Shower Count0
Nearest StarHIP 14559
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 20781
Brightest StarAlpha Fornacis
Dimmest StarHD 16975
Furthest StarHIP 17712
Bright Star Count26
Hipparcos Star Count1069
Main Star Count3
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCetus

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Fornax

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
IC 335Lenticular Galaxy60,000,000-34:26:49.5503h 35h 31m 029
NGC 1316Giant Elliptical Galaxy60,000,000-37° 12' 29.803 22 41m 73
NGC1365Seyfert Galaxy60,000,000-36 08 26.3703 33 36m 458
Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909)Reflection Nebula1000-7:5405h 02h 00

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