This month we feature …….. Sirius – The Dog Star.
Sirius is known as the “Dog Star” as it is located in the constellation Canis Major (The Greater Dog).
The name Sirius comes from the Greek Seirios which means “scorching”. Because of its brightness it was well known to the ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC.
After the Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and is outshone only by Venus and Jupiter as well as the International Space Station. It is not, however, the most luminous star in the sky and only appears bright to us because of its relative closeness of 8.6 light years.
Sirius is actually a binary star system made up of two stars – Sirius A, a white main sequence star about twice as massive as the Sun, and Sirius B, a small white dwarf star as you can see in the image above taken by the Hubble Space telescope. Sirius B circles around Sirius A every fifty Earth years.