Sirio

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Sirio

Sirius , or Sirius in its Latin name, is the proper name of the star Alpha Canis Maioris (α CMa, also < b> Alpha Canis Majoris ), the brightest of all the night sky seen from the Earth, located in the constellation of the southern celestial hemisphere Canis Maior. This remarkable star, which is actually a binary star, is well known since antiquity; for example, in Ancient Egypt, the heliacal exit of Sirius marked the time of the flooding of the Nile, and has been present in civilizations as disparate as the Greek, the Maya and the Polynesian. Sometimes, and colloquially, Sirius is called “Dog Star” because of the constellation to which it belongs.

The primary component of the two stars that make up the system, Sirio A, is a white star of the main sequence of spectral type A1V that has a surface temperature of 10 000 K and that is far away from 8.6 light years of the solar system, which makes it the seventh closest star to the Sun. Its apparent magnitude in the band B (blue) is -1.46, and in the band V is -1 , 47. Friedrich Bessel, in 1844, deduced the presence of a companion, a very faint celestial object now called Sirius B or «the Puppy», which was first accidentally observed in 1862 by the astronomical object builder Alvan Graham Clark. It was one of the first white dwarfs to be discovered, its magnitude in the band V is 8.44, its spectral type is DA2 and its surface temperature is about 25 200 K.

Due to certain irregularities in the orbit of the Sirius system formed by both stars, it has been suggested the presence of a third star, Sirius C, an alleged red dwarf with one fifth of the mass of the Sun and spectral type M5-9 , in a six-year elliptical orbit around Sirius A. This object has not yet been observed and its real existence is discussed.

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