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

By Jay B. Holberg

Of all of the fastened stars within the evening sky, Sirius is via some distance the brightest – nearly two times as vibrant as its nearest rival, the superstar Canopus, which lies too some distance south to be considered from lots of the Northern Hemisphere. in simple terms the sunlight, Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter and, every now and then, Mars, look brighter. Sirius, with its flashing brilliance, is a remarkable 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 celebrity, however the most ordinarily used is Alpha Canis Majoris, the brightest big name 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 recognition — purely to be revived and to develop into sleek renowned and clinical controversies. even though those ideals could appear really contemporary, many have their origins within the historical lore surrounding Sirius; people appear clearly interested in its brilliance, and a stunning variety of glossy cults have nucleated round ideals within which Sirius performs a in demand position.

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Extra info for Astronomy - Sirius - Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky

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For example, to the Maori of New Zealand in the south the appearance of Sirius in the morning sky coincided with the freezing cold of winter. Their word "takurua" was synonymous with both Sirius and winter. To the north in Hawaii, Sirius was called "Ka' ulua" and its culmination near midnight signaled the time of a great celebration or festival. Sirius was the "Queen of Heaven" and marked the winter solstice. Much more could be written about the ancient lore associated with Sirius: the topic is virtually inexhaustible.

Ptolemy chose Sirius to define the location of the globe's central meridian. A major portion of the Almagest's book VII is occupied by a catalog listing, by constellation, 1022 stars which can be seen with the naked eye from the latitude of Alexandria. This list is presented in tabular form giving the ecliptic coordinates (see Appendix A) and a brief description of the relative location for each star within its constellation. For example, the star Arcturus in the constellation Bootes is "the star between the thighs called 'Arcturus', reddish".

In addition to being the Wolf Star of the Skidi Pawnee, Sirius was also revered as "The White Star", which was one of the four god stars that held up the sky. Traditional earth lodges were laid out according to these four stars, which occupied the semi-cardinal directions, with Sirius assigned the southwest lodge pole of the structure. There have been other proposed alignments with Sirius in the Americas; however, none of these has stood up well to scrutiny. Perhaps the best known example is that of the "Medicine Wheel" in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

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