Magnitude Charts for the Constellation Grus at 40N
Compare the view of your nighttime sky to the Magnitude Charts below. This will determine the magnitude of the faintest stars that you can see at your location. For printouts to use during your observation, you can use the magnitude charts included in the Activity Guides. For practice, try the Observation Practice quiz! (requires Flash)
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.
Practice Finding Grus.
(Images modified from charts provided by Jan Hollan, of the Global Change Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)