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Fornax, The Furnace Constellation

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. The constellation gets its name as it 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.

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.

The brightest star in Fornax is Alpha Fornacis. There are 8 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Fornax. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Fornax Star List Page.

Fornax Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Fornax is 1069. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 26. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 3.

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.

Stars of Interest

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. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 17712 which is located about 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.

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

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.

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.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

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
Dimmest StarHD 16975
Furthest StarHIP 17712
Bright Star Count26
Hipparcos Star Count1069
Main Star Count3
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-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.

Fornax Constellation Map

Fornax Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

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

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909)Reflection Nebula1000-7:5405h 02h 00

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