Adirondack Sky Center
Tupper Lake, New York
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Astro Quiz 17: Dog Star Type?

Question #17 – The star named Sirius, also known as "The Dog Star", is the brightest star in our winter sky. What kind of star is Sirius?


Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. It is called "The Dog Star" because it is located in the constellation Canis Major, or the Greater Dog. You can easily find Sirius during winters in the Northern Hemisphere. Find the three stars that make the Belt of Orion, and follow the line of these stars from right to left - they point to Sirius.

Sirius is actually not a single star; it is a binary (2-star) system. The main star is a blue/white star with a radius about twice that of our Sun. The companion star is a white dwarf about the size of Jupiter.

More information about Sirius can be found on this Wikipedia page.

(Left) Canis Major. Image created with Starry Night Pro Plus 8. (Right) A fan of the ASC as Canis Major.

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