Sirius, the Brightest Star in the Night Sky
Who hasn’t heard of the Dog Star, Sirius? It’s the brightest star in the sky in late winter and early spring. And, boy, is it easy to find! Just face south at 8 P.M. and look for Orion. Plus, you also have a chance to see its pup. Yes, it’s a two-dog night.
The shimmering and color changes happen for other stars, too, but these effects are more noticeable for Sirius because Sirius is so bright.
At 8.6 light-years distance, Sirius is one of the nearest stars to us after the sun. A light-year, by the way, is nearly 6 trillion miles (9.4 trillion km)!
Bottom line: Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky as seen from Earth and is visible from both hemispheres. It lies just 8.6 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog.
The visual magnitude of Sirius is -1.44, lower – brighter – than any other star. There are brighter stars than Sirius in terms of actual energy and light output, but they are farther away and hence appear dimmer.
Astronomers express the brightness of stars in terms of stellar magnitude. The smaller the number, the brighter the star.
How can I tell what stars are in the sky?
Star Walk helps you pinpoint planets and stars so you can find them with a telescope. All you have to do is point your phone at the night sky, and Star Walk locates and pinpoints the exact location of the celestial object you want to see. You can use the precise location to find the object in your telescope.
Importance of ‘Dog star’ Sirius in Ancient Egypt! and some important facts.
How much do you know about the brightest star of the night sky, Sirius, and its constellation, Canis Major? For example, did you know that the Canis Major contains a star that is actually way brighter than Sirius in terms of absolute magnitude? Or that it has a star cluster called Pirate’s Jewels? Keep reading to learn more surprising facts!