Grus Constellation: Facts & Myths

Sky has been the subject of interest for centuries and is under speculations since the advent of man. There are hundreds of theories regarding the stars twinkling in the sky, and none of them has ever exactly decoded the secret they store. All we can do is to study the obvious facts available like their location, group and the approximate age of celestial bodies and try to guess something from them. There are thousands of planets, stars, asteroids and other celestial bodies roaming in the sky and pushing us more into the depths of mystery. One of them is the constellation Grus.

Be more familiar to the sky with Grus Constellation

The constellation Grus is situated in the southern part of the sky and was once part of Piscis Austrinus constellation. Its name means “the crane” in Latin and has a beautiful appearance. It was formulated by Petrus Plancius in the 16th century from the records of observations by Frederick de Houtman and Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser who were Dutch navigators. In 1603, the constellation first appeared in the celestial atlas, in Uranometria by Johann Bayer. Grus constellation was known as Phoenicopterus in the 17th century which means “the flamingo” in Latin.

Facts and Location of Grus constellation

According to size, Grus holds the 45th position which is fairly well in the constellation chart and occupies an area of 366 square degrees in the sky which is again a large area. Its situation is in the southern hemisphere in the fourth quadrant (SQ4) and is visible between the latitudes +34 degree and -90 degrees. Indus, Tucana, Microscopium, Sculptor, Piscis Austrinus, and Phoenix are its neighbors.

Grus has three stars which are brighter than magnitude 3.00, and its one star is located within 10 parsecs (32.6 light years) of the earth. Alnair, Alpha Gruis is the brightest star in Grus constellation with an approximate magnitude of 1.74. Gliese 832 is the nearest star (spectral class M2V), located at a mere distance of 16.15 light years from earth.

Only six stars in Grus are known to have exoplanets Glieses 832 is one of them. The other stars having exoplanets are Tau- 1 Gruis (G0IV), HD 208487 (spectral class G2V), HD 215456 (G0.5V), WASP- 52 (G5IV) and HD 2313240 (G4IV).  HD 215456, Glises 832 and HD 208487 own two planets while one orbiting planet is associated with other three planets.

Johann Bayer constellation family is home to Grus which is also adobe of VolansApusTucanaChameleonPhoenixDoradoPavoHydrusMusca, and Indus. Grus is deprived of Messier objects, and meteor showers are also not a feature of Grus.

Myths associated with Grus Constellation

The connection of Grus with mythology is that it is namesake to the sacred bird of God Hermes. It is one of the 12 constellations formulated by the Dutch explorers in the 16th century. The constituent stars of Grus were located in the south of Piscis Austrinus constellation.

Have fun learning about Grus constellations and enhance your knowledge.