"How to Find the Brightest and Most Jewel-like Star in the Night Sky"

Scheduled air date: 2004 Feb 02-08

Sirius—the brightest star as seen from Earth, aside from our own Sun—can be found by following an imaginary line from the Belt Stars of Orion to the lower left.  Sirius is sometimes called the “Dog Star”, as it is in the constellation Canis Major, or the Great Dog.
(Shown about an hour after sunset this week for mid-Northern latitudes.)

At a distance of nine light years, Sirius is one of the closest stars to the Earth, although it is over half-a-million times farther than is our own Sun.
Sirius is also about twice the diameter of the Sun, as illustrated above.

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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