Topics: Culture | The Guardian

Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, α Canis Majoris (Alpha Canis Majoris), or Canicula, is the single brightest star in the night sky.

It lies at a distance of 8.60 light years (2.64 parsecs) from Earth, in the constellation Canis Major , the Greater Dog. Sirius is not the brightest star because it is more luminous than other visible stars, but because it is located so close to the solar system. It is the fifth closest star system to Earth and contains two of the eight nearest stars to Earth.

Sirius is slowly moving closer to Earth and will gradually increase in brightness over the next 60,000 years, before it starts to recede. It will, however, remain the brightest star seen from Earth for the next 210,000 years.

Sirius has an apparent magnitude of -1.46, which makes it almost twice as bright as Canopus , the second brightest star in the sky, located in Carina constellation.

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