Star Names:

Grus


Map of The Constellation of Grus
Please hover over any star to get more information
Grus is a constellation in the southern hemisphere. It was created by the Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius from the observations of Dutch explorers Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman in the 16th century.

The constellation was originally named Krane Grus, both words meaning "the crane," in Dutch and Latin respectively. Grus was created from stars lying south of the constellation Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish, which were once considered to be part of that constellation. Grus was also known as Phoenicopteros, the flamingo, in 17th century England. There are no specific myths associated with the constellation.

The constellation Grus occupies an area of 366 square degrees and contains four stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +34° and -34° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of October.

The brightest star in the constellation is the subgiant [4061] alpha Gruis or Alnair (Al Nair). Its name derives from the abbreviated Arabic phrase that means "the bright one from the fish’s tail."

[4062] beta Gruis, the second brightest star, is a giant that used to be part of the tail in the constellation Piscis Austrinus.

[4063] gamma Gruis or Al Dhanab ("the tail") also once belonged to Piscis Austrinus. It is a blue giant with luminosity almost 210 times that of the Sun.

[4066]-[4067] delta Gruis is a binary star consisting of two magnitude 4 giants visible to the naked eye.

[4071]-[4074] mu Gruis is another binary star system, consisting of a pair of yellow dwarf stars.

Grus is home to several interesting deep sky objects. The most notable one is NGC 7213, the brightest spiral galaxy in the constellation. It lies near [4061] alpha Gruis. NGC 7140 is another relatively bright spiral galaxy, located near [4069] theta Gruis.

There are also four fainter galaxies near the border with Piscis Austrinus and Sculptor: the small, comet-like IC1459, the edge-on galaxy IC 5264, the face-on spiral galaxy NGC 7418, and the relatively large, bright galaxy NGC 7421.

Grus belongs to the Johann Bayer family of constellations, along with Hydrus, Dorado, Volans, Apus, Pavo, Phoenix, Tucana, Indus, Chamaeleon and Musca.

Constellations directly bordering Grus are Piscis Austrinus, Microscopium, Indus, Tucana, Phoenix and Sculptor.



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