By Jay B. Holberg

ISBN-10: 038748941X

ISBN-13: 9780387489414

Of the entire mounted stars within the evening sky, Sirius is by means of some distance the brightest – nearly two times as vibrant as its nearest rival, the megastar Canopus, which lies too a ways south to be seen from lots of the Northern Hemisphere. purely the solar, Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter and, from time to time, Mars, seem brighter. Sirius, with its flashing brilliance, is a extraordinary function of the northern wintry weather sky and has understandably drawn the eye of observers of the evening sky for millions of years.
Sirius has many names. Astronomers realize over fifty designations for the superstar, however the most ordinarily used is Alpha Canis Majoris, the brightest celebrity 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 grow 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 previous ideals in the past fell from public awareness — in simple terms to be revived and to develop into glossy renowned and medical controversies. even though those ideals could appear relatively contemporary, many have their origins within the historical lore surrounding Sirius; people look evidently attracted to its brilliance, and a shocking variety of glossy cults have nucleated round ideals within which Sirius performs a widespread position.

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It is) the Star of piercing brightness. In Africa, the Dogon tribe, in the modern nation of Mali, is claimed to possess a well-publicized and remarkable set of beliefs concerning Sirius. These beliefs and their possible origin are discussed in more detail in Chapter 11. In addition to these beliefs, the Dogon are said to have noted the heliacal rising of Sirius by the use of stone markers which they used to define the sight lines on the horizon to the points where Sirius will rise just before the sun.

A late Christian addition to this heavenly construct was a region of celestial light and the abode of god and the angels, known as the Empyrean. It was the Empyrean where the "music of the spheres" was believed to be generated and where Dante was led by Beatrice in the Divine Comedy. The working details of this universe were a matter of debate and speculation. Was the number of stars countless, or simply the 1022 catalogued by Ptolemy? Were the stars self-luminous or did they reflect the light from the sun?

The sudden appearance of this star, followed by its slow fading, convinced Tycho that the old Ptolemaic universe was false and that the ethereal realms of Aristotle and Ptolemy were not unchangeable. It was also this new star that thrust Tycho into a lifelong career as an astronomer. He later went on to construct a well-staffed private observatory on the tiny island of Hven in the strait between Denmark and Sweden. There for the next twenty years he made the most precise observations of the positions of the planets and the stars, in the era before the invention of the telescope.

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


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