Definitions

Achernar

Achernar

[ey-ker-nahr]
Achernar, brightest star in the constellation Eridanus; Bayer designation α Eridani; 1992 position R.A. 1h37.4m, Dec. -57°16'. A bluish-white white star with apparent magnitude 0.51, it is one of the 10 brightest stars in the entire sky. Its distance is about 120 light-years, and its luminosity about 600 times that of the sun. Achernar is of spectral class B5 V. Its name is from the Arabic meaning "end of the river [Eridanus]."
Achernar (α Eri / α Eridani / Alpha Eridani), sometimes spelled Achenar, is the brightest star in the constellation Eridanus and the eighth-brightest star in the nighttime sky. It lies at the southern tip of the constellation.

Achernar is a bright, blue B-type star of six to eight solar masses lying approximately away. Although classified as a main-sequence (dwarf) star, it is about 3,000 times more luminous than the Sun. Achernar is in the deep southern sky and never rises above 33°N. Achernar is best seen from the southern hemisphere in November; it is circumpolar below 33°S.

Until about March 2000, Achernar and Fomalhaut were the two first-magnitude stars furthest in angular distance from any other first-magnitude star in the celestial sphere. Antares, in the constellation of Scorpius, is now the most isolated first-magnitude star.

It is the least spherical star in the Milky Way studied to date. Achernar spins so rapidly that its equatorial diameter is more than 50% greater than its polar diameter.

The name comes from the Arabic آخر النهر ākhir an-nahr "river's end".

It is known as 水委一 (Shuǐwěiyī, the First Star of the Crooked Running Water) in Chinese.

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