Sirius A (& B)

links to assist below

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Seen during our winter months it makes for a very attractive star in our night sky.

Sirius A and Sirius B with our Sun in the distance, illustrated above left.

How to find Sirius - location illustrated above right.

During February look up in the South/South West, often twinkling with different colours due to Earth's atmosphere as with other stars.

 

Find 'Orions belt' part of the constellation of 'Orion' and it points to Sirius. It's part of the constellation 'Canis Major' (sometimes referred to as 'Big Dog').

 

Sirius has been the brightest star in our skies for a very very long time.

Somewhat larger than our Sun. Nasa suggests that Sirius has 2x the mass of our Sun and if our Sun and Sirius were side by side Sirius would be so much more brighter and out shine our Sun by 20x. It has a temperature of just under 10,000 Celsius.

Our Sun is on average 864,000 miles in diameter where as Sirius is 1.5 million miles and is one of our nearest known stars of 8.6 light years away. (1 light year is about 6 trillion miles) The closest star system to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri system.

Some of our planets in our solar system will out shine Sirius like our Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and sometimes Mercury

 

Sirius 'B' has a diameter of approximately 7,500 miles, slightly smaller than the size of our Earth. It orbits Sirius A about every 50years. It has a temperature of just under 25,000 Celsius. Apparently only discovered in 1862 by an American telescope-maker and astronomer Alvan Graham Clark.

Sirius and Antiquity

The Egyptians revered many things and made god's of both animate and inanimate objects and Sirius was closely associated with 'Osiris' and 'Sopdet (their god of fertility) and their personification of Sirius by placing what is a resemblance of Sirius above 'Sopdet's' head. Sirius used to show just before the sunrise at their annual river Nile flooding period which brought them new plant life and growth.

Is it just a coincidence that annually Sirius disappears for seventy days, and mummification took seventy days!

(Ref: 'Ancient Egypt Online' is written and maintained by Jenny Hill. Jenny received her Certificate in Egyptology from Glasgow University. - see Jenny's web site at https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/sopdet/)

credit - NASA