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

By Jay B. Holberg

Of all of the mounted stars within the evening sky, Sirius is by way of a long way the brightest – nearly two times as shiny as its nearest rival, the famous person Canopus, which lies too a ways south to be considered from lots of the Northern Hemisphere. in simple terms the solar, Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter and, every now and then, Mars, seem 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 big name, however the most typically used is Alpha Canis Majoris, the brightest famous person within the constellation Canis significant. This isLatin for the 'Great Dog', which has resulted in its renowned nickname the ‘Dog Star’. Over the centuries many ideals have turn out to be 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 different outdated ideals in the past fell from public awareness — simply to be revived and to develop into sleek well known and clinical controversies. even supposing those ideals could appear really fresh, many have their origins within the historic lore surrounding Sirius; people look clearly interested in its brilliance, and a stunning variety of smooth cults have nucleated round ideals during which Sirius performs a renowned function.

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The "dog days" were generally considered to extend from early July to mid-August. It was not only the heliacal rising of Sirius that provoked the interest of the Romans, the heliacal setting of Sirius, almost three months earlier, was also noted. Beginning in 238 BC and around the 25th of April each year, the festival of Robigalia was held in which white-robed priests would sacrifice a red dog. The point of the sacrifice was to entreat the goddess Robigo to protect the wheat crop from developing a rust-colored fungus that spoiled the grain.

Under the two feet of Orion the Hare is hunted constantly all the time: Sirius moves forever behind it as if in pursuit, rises after it and watches it as it sets. Aratus here refers to the fact that as the constellation Canis Major rises in the eastern sky, below and to the left of Orion, at first only Sirius, among the stars of Canis Major, is visible near the horizon. The word variegated refers to the other stars in the constellation, not specifically to Sirius. As the Greeks delineated the constellation of Canis Major, Sirius variously defines the chin, the mouth, or the snout of the dog.

An Alexandrian drachma from the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, showing a representation of the Egyptian goddess Isis astride the Greco-Roman canine representation of Sirius (Milne 2358; courtesy of the Michael R. Molnar Collection). The Dog Star 23 Sirius from ancient Mesopotamia which also allude to dogs. For example, the word 'Kak-shisha has been translated variously as "the dog that leads" and "a Star of the South". Later Mesopotamian names include Kal-bu, "the dog" and Kakab-lik-u, "the star of the dog".

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