Alpha Canis Majoris LbNA # 20787
|Placed Date||Mar 12 2006|
|Last Update||Jan 13 2008|
From Orion, look south and east to find brilliant Sirius. Follow the three stars on Orion's belt. Its name comes from the Greek word meaning "searing" or "scorching", certainly appropriate for a star that shines at the bright end of the " minus-first" (-1.47) magnitude. Sirius is the liminary of the constellation Canis Major, The Great Dog, which represents Orion's hunting dog, and as such is referred to as the "Dog Star". Famed from times long past, the first glimpse of Sirius in dawn announced the rising of the Nile in ancient Egypt. Because of its brilliance, Sirius is the champion of all twinklers, the effect caused by variable refraction in the Earth's atmosphere. The star, a white A (A1) hygrogen-fusing dwarf with a temperature of 9880 Kelvin, is bright in part because it is indeed rather luminous, 26 times more than the sun, but mostly because it is nearby, a mere 8.6 light years away. From the orbit (and spectoscopic data) we find that Sirius has a mass of 2.12 times that of the sun.
Ancient Egyptians called Sirius the "Dog Star" after their god Osiris, whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog. In Egypt, Sirius shines for most of the summer, and since it is such a bright star, the Egyptians actually believed that the additional light from this star was responsible for the summer heat. This, of course, is not true. However, the origin of the phrase "dog days of summer" cames from this ancient belief!
Now, talk like an ancient Egyptian: ahdom sah munri vrahrud//notrutrah phich oonraht//pakoppt rahlaht phe teede ghreez//ztrat tshoo lah relah tzihnk//ahtphr wah raht ophil//guhken ohpn ztrata krauz//fahvf oohts tuhmp//aaht paaze saht touhuhn drehds even tede ghreez
This box is dedicated to Sky, my pal and boxing partner, as well as his boxing buddies Baby D., Doodles and Molly. I was going to list all of our constant canine companions but there were too many. You know who they are.