Exogazing Epsilon Eridanus

If you head outside tonight around 7 pm CST or so to check out the nearly full moon, you should look south about the same altitude in the sky as the star Rigel in the constellation Orion and check out the celestial river Eridanus. The star Episilon Eridani has a very interesting feature that you can’t see with a hobby telescope: an exoplanet and a debris disk or two.

Courtesy of Star Tales

Courtesy of Star Tales

To find Epsilon Eridani find Rigel and Venus and then look about a third of way from Rigel to Venus.

epsilon-eridani-wide-view2

Looking south, Bellaire TX (click to enlarge)

The three bright stars that form a small triangle are Zaurak (Gamma Eridani), Delta Eridani, and Epsilon Eridani as you look from east to west. Now you point to this sun-like star and say that is a young solar system. And while a billion years isn’t that young to humans, it’s younger than our solar system which is about 5 billion years old give or take.

epsilon-eridani-narrow-view

Gamma Eridani, Delta Eridani, and Epsilon Eridani (click to enlarge)

So share with someone that what is up there is not just a star but another solar system. Now you can say you have been exogazing along the celestial river!

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