Meaning “the furnace”, Fornax was described by Lacaille as being within the southern bend of the river. It was named in honor of the celebrated chemist Antoine Lauraent Lavoisier and had to do with his chemical prowess. The name referred to a chemical furnace used in laboratories.
It is a southern hemisphere constellation and is most viewable in November. Six star systems in Fornax have been found to have exoplanets
Constellations near Fornax include Cetus, Eridanus, Phoenix and Sculptor.
Right Ascension: 02:50
Diameter (°): 14
Area (square °): 398
Opposition: Nov 07
Size Rank: 41st
Brightness Rank: 81st
Major or notable stars in Fornax
Dalim – α Fornacis (Alpha Fornacis)
β Fornacis (Beta Fornacis)
λ2 Fornacis (Lambda-2 Fornacis)
HD 20781 and HD 20782
Deep Sky Objects in Fornax
NGC 1097 (Caldwell 67)
Great Barred Spiral Galaxy – NGC 1365
Fornax A – NGC 1316
Mythology of the Constellation Fornax
Nearby Cetus and Eridanus have mythological stories. Fornax was too dim and too far south to be of consequence to Ptolemy. It is not included in Greek Mythology.
Fornax was identified and named by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape of Good Hope. During this 2-year period, he observed and catalogued nearly 10,000 stars. Originally, he called it “le Fourneau Chymique” (the Chemical Furnace) then abbreviated it to “le Fourneau” on his 1752 planisphere. He Latinized the name of the constellation in 1763 to “Fornax Chimiae”.
English astronomer Francis Bailey shortened the constellation’s name to Fornax in 1845.