Fixed star:  ACHERNAR
Constellation:  Alpha (α) Eridanus
Longitude 1900: 13PIS53 Longitude 2000: 15PIS19
Declination 1900:  – 57.45′ Declination 2000:  – 57.14′
Right ascension:  01h 37m Latitude:  – 59.22′
Spectral class:  B9. Blue-white Magnitude:  0.46

The history of the star: Achernar

from p.217 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage

AchernarAlpha (α) Eridanus, Achernar, is a white star situated in the mouth of the River.

Achernar, is from Arabic Al Ahir al Nahr, “the End of the River”, nearly its present position in the constellation, about 32° from the south pole which is in the constellation Octans, but the {p.218} title was first given to the star now lettered theta (θ, Acamar), the farthest in the Stream known by Arabian astronomers.

Titles for alpha (α) from 16th and 17th century astronomers transcribing from various Arabic sources: AcharnarproAchar-naharvelAcharnarim, and Enar, Acarnar, Acarnaharim and Acharnaar, Acharnarin, Achironnahri, while Achenar and Archarnar are still occasionally used.

This star is supposed to be one of Dante‘s Tre Facelle, notwithstanding its invisibility from Italy.

Chinese astronomers knew it as Shwuy Wei

The second-century A.D. Greek astronomer Ptolemy did not mention it, although he could have seen it from the latitude of Alexandria, 31° 11′,— a fact, among others, which argues that his catalogue was not based upon original observations, but drawn from the now lost catalogue of Hipparchos (circa 190-120 B.C.), compiled at Rhodes, more than 5° further north, from which place Achernar was not visible.

Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889].


Robson says this star is symbolized as the “Cherub and Sword”. [Robson, p.116.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Eridanus

Legend: Eridanus represents the river Padus or Po into which Phaeton fell when slain by Jupiter for having set the world on fire by misguiding the chariot of his father Phoebus. [Robson, p.44.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy all the stars with the exception of Achernar are like Saturn. Eridanus gives a love of knowledge and science, much travel and many changes, a position of authority, but danger of accidents especially at sea and of drowning. [Robson, p.44.]

The astrological influences of the star Achernar

It gives success in public office, beneficence, and religion. [Robson p.116.]

Well-placed, it promises happiness and success by giving good morals, faithful adherence to one’s religious beliefs or philosophical inclinations. According to tradition, Achernar is credited with bestowing high offices in the church, especially if conjunct with Jupiter. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.80.]


Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923].