st3fan SIRIUS. From Orion, look down and to the left to find brilliant Sirius, as if one really needs directions to find the brightest star in the sky. Its name comes from the Greek word for "searing" or "scorching," certainly appropriate. It is the luminary of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog, which represents Orion's larger hunting dog, and as such is commonly referred to as the "Dog Star." The star is also part of a larger asterism, the Winter Triangle, the other two of which are Betelgeuse in Orion and Procyon in the smaller dog, Canis Minor. Sirius is bright in part because it truly is luminous. Though a "main sequence" star that, like the Sun, shines by hydrogen fusion, it is over twice as massive as our star, and as a result is hotter and brighter, its 9400 degree temperature making it quite white. But it is also bright to us because it is nearby, a mere 8.6 light years away, just double that of the closest star to the Earth, Alpha Centauri. Sirius's greatest claim to fame may be its dim companion. Though 10,000 times fainter than bright Sirius A, Sirius B is the hotter of the two. The only way it can be hot and faint is to be small. The star has the mass of the Sun, yet is smaller than Earth. Called a "white dwarf," on the average it packs 15 tons into a mere cubic inch. It is the end product of a star that at one time was much more massive than Sirius A is today. 010514
Laura A haiku:
Sirius was hot
Then he went through the dang veil
And now he's very dead.

Thank you.
Lemon_Soda Nice 050720
devilbunny I love Sirius.

Totally worth the $12.95.
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