Piscis Austrinus

Just south of Aquarius and to the east of Capricornus lies the constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. This small constellation is dominated by the brilliant blue-white star Alpha Piscis Austrini, or Fomalhaut (mag. 1.2), which in Arabic means fish's mouth. Since there is no other star of similar brightness in that part of the sky, we will not find it difficult to locate. From north India, Fomalhaut is seen rather low over the southern horizon, but it can be seen quite high up in the sky from southern parts of the country. Fomalhaut culminates at around 9.00 p.m. during the third week of October.

Grus

South of Piscis Austrinus, we can see the small constellation

Grus

Star

Name

Magnitude

Distance

(Light-years)

a

Alnair

1.76

64

P

A1 Dhanab

Variable

280

of Grus, the Crane. It is ah easily recognisable constellation, especially if we live south of Bhopal. It has only two bright stars — Alpha Gruis, or Alnair (mag. 1.7) and Beta Gruis, or A1 Dhanab (mag. 2.2). On a clear night we can easily make out the likeness of flying crane in the star pattern.

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