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Constellation Grus (Crane)

Constellation Grus (Crane)

Southern Hemisphere




The Crane (lat. Grus) consists amongst others of the bright stars Alnair (α, 1,7m) and Beta Gruis (2,1m). Due to their contrasting colors, they can be easily distinguished: Alnair is a blue-white sub giant and Beta Gruis is a red giant.

How to spot Grus

With an area of 366 square degrees, Grus extends in the southern hemisphere and can be seen in the fall. In the north it borders on the constellation Piscis Austrinus, in the west on Telescopium, in the east on the Phoenix and in the south on Tucana.


At the end of the 16th century, a Dutch fleet traveled to the legendary Spice Islands to create new trade relationships. Under Captain Keyser, the positions of 135 stars were measured during this journey, which were later included by Peter Plancius in his sky maps. From these he recognized twelve new constellations, including "Den Reygher". A few years later, the constellation was recorded as "Grus" in the new Sky Atlas.