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Achernar(ā`kərnär'), brightest star in the constellation EridanusEridanus
, large southern constellation stretching SW from Orion for about 60°. Because of its long, winding shape it was identified with a river by many ancient civilizations; e.g., the Egyptians called it the Nile and the Babylonians called it the Euphrates.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Bayer designation α Eridani; 1992 position R.A. 1h37.4m, Dec. −57°16'. A bluish-white white star with apparent magnitudemagnitude,
in astronomy, measure of the brightness of a star or other celestial object. The stars cataloged by Ptolemy (2d cent. A.D.), all visible with the unaided eye, were ranked on a brightness scale such that the brightest stars were of 1st magnitude and the dimmest stars
..... Click the link for more information. 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 classspectral class,
in astronomy, a classification of the stars by their spectrum and luminosity. In 1885, E. C. Pickering began the first extensive attempt to classify the stars spectroscopically.
..... Click the link for more information. B5 V. Its name is from the Arabic meaning "end of the river [Eridanus]."