The Constellation: Grus
The name Grus translated to mean “crane”, was created by two Dutch navigators in 1603. While there is no mythology associated with Grus, cranes were sacred to Hermes, the gods’ messenger.
Cranes are known for their beautiful and elaborate dances as well as their intelligence and vigilance. They are a symbol of longevity, since cranes can live to be over 60 years old.
Can you find Grus?
To find Grus, look directly south. You will see four bright stars making their way from left to right in the sky. These stars also happen to line up in brightness order. The brightest one, Sirius, will be somewhat higher in the sky than the other three, and is the farthest to the left. The next one to the right is Canopus, then Achernar. The fourth one is found in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, and is called Fomalhaut. Grus is found between the Achernar and Fomalhaut, and is located about 15 degrees lower in the sky than a line drawn between those two stars. Look for a triangle formed by Grus’ three brightest stars (the third brightest star is actually two stars), the two dimmer stars in the triangle may appear red. The triangle forms the body of the crane with Grus’ neck stretching out to the West, and the wings to the North and South.