Astronomy - Sirius - Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky by Jay B. Holberg

By Jay B. Holberg

Of the entire fastened stars within the evening sky, Sirius is via some distance the brightest – virtually two times as brilliant as its nearest rival, the superstar Canopus, which lies too some distance south to be seen from lots of the Northern Hemisphere. merely the sunlight, Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter and, every now and then, Mars, seem brighter. Sirius, with its flashing brilliance, is a extraordinary characteristic of the northern iciness sky and has understandably drawn the eye of observers of the evening sky for hundreds of thousands of years.
Sirius has many names. Astronomers realize over fifty designations for the superstar, however the most typically used is Alpha Canis Majoris, the brightest celebrity within the constellation Canis significant. This isLatin for the 'Great Dog', which has resulted in its well known nickname the ‘Dog Star’. Over the centuries many ideals have emerge as linked to Sirius. a few of these ideals nonetheless echo in such words as ‘the puppy days of summer’, which the traditional Romans understood good. different previous ideals some time past fell from public cognizance — merely to be revived and to develop into sleek renowned and clinical controversies. even if those ideals could appear really contemporary, many have their origins within the historical lore surrounding Sirius; people look clearly interested in its brilliance, and a shocking variety of smooth cults have nucleated round ideals within which Sirius performs a widespread function.

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Part Two The Nature of the Stars What are the stars? How does their nature differ from the five "wandering stars" or planets known since antiquity, and from the sun and the moon? How is the universe of stars and planets arranged and how does it function? Over the ages there have been many answers to these questions: superstitious, mythological, religious, philosophical, and ultimately scientific. The long process of acquiring useful and reliable knowledge about the stars has been punctuated with a number of discoveries and insights that are important to the story of Sirius, and in which Sirius often played a critical role.

Unfortunately, other than his treatise on the estimated distances of the sun and the moon, no complete works from Aristarchus remain. However, at least one ancient source reports that along with his heliocentric theory, Aristarchus placed the stars at very large distances and regarded them as distant suns. He needed to 30 The Nature of the Stars remove the stars to great distances in order to explain why the earth's annual orbit of the sun did not result in noticeable angular shifts in the positions of the stars, as they were viewed first from one side of the earth's orbit and then the other.

Both of these Dog-Constellations represent Orion's faithful hunting dogs and constant companions, who track and fetch his prey. Indeed, Canis Major, at the foot of Orion, is often envisioned as being poised, ready to spring towards the constellation of Lepus, the Hare. Canis Minor also contains its own prominent dog-star, Procyon, whose name in Greek literally means the one that goes before, or precedes, "the dog". This refers to the fact that Procyon is seen to rise approximately an hour before Sirius.

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