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 constellationPiscis Austrinus, in the west onTelescopium, in the east on thePhoenixand in the south onTucana.
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.