Grus (constellation)

Grus (/ˈɡrʌs/, or colloquially /ˈɡruːs/) is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the crane, a type of bird. It is one of twelve constellations conceived by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Grus first appeared on a 35-centimetre-diameter (14-inch) celestial globe published in 1598 in Amsterdam by Plancius and Jodocus Hondius and was depicted in Johann Bayer's star atlas Uranometria of 1603. French explorer and astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille gave Bayer designations to its stars in 1756, some of which had been previously considered part of the neighbouring constellation Piscis Austrinus. The constellations Grus, Pavo, Phoenix and Tucana are collectively known as the "Southern Birds". The constellation's brightest star, Alpha Gruis, is also known as Alnair and appears as a 1.7-magnitude blue-white star. Beta Gruis is a red giant variable star with a minimum magnitude of 2.3 and a maximum magnitude of 2.0. Six star systems have been found to have planets: the red dwarf Gliese 832 is one of the closest stars to Earth to have a planetary system. Another—WASP-95—has a planet that orbits every two days. Deep-sky objects found in Grus include the planetary nebula IC 5148, also known as the Spare Tyre Nebula, and a group of four interacting galaxies known as the Grus Quartet.


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