Monday, December 10, 2007

What is Sirius?

Sirius, seen in three modifies forms, α CMa/α Canis Majoris/Alpha Canis Majoris is the sparkling star seen during the night-time sky. The star has the visual apparent magnitude of −1.47 and located in the constellation Canis Major. The star is visible to naked eye from almost any place of the earth, barring north of 73.284 degrees. In the Northern Hemisphere, is known as a vertex of the Winter Triangle. Under the right environment conditions, the stars can be observed in daylight with the naked eye. This can only happen only if the sky is clear, and the star at high altitude, the star passing overhead, and the sun low down on the horizon.

Sirius is actually a large binary star system, comprises bright white main sequence star of spectral type A1V, named Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA named Sirius B. Besides, it is rightly considered a part of a big astral system- the Winter Triangle, which also hold two other stars of the family namely Betelgeuse in Orion and Procyon in the smaller dog, Canis Minor.

Sirius is rightly described as a "metal rich," star, which has iron content almost three times that of the Sun. Astronomers believe that the metal content is most likely the result of elemental diffusion. The radius of star is 1.75 solar, which is in agreement with the measured angular diameter and a registered minimum equatorial rotation speed of 16 kilometers per second.

The star rotates in approximately 6 days with its dim eighth magnitude (9.26) companion, Sirius B is visually nearly 10,000 times fainter than the bright star, Sirius A, however, Sirius B, is hottest with temperature of 24,000 Kelvin.

Various researches have been carried out from time to tome about the assessment of origin of the star. In the year 1909 research scientist Ejnar Hertzsprung opined that Sirius was a member of the Ursa Major Moving Group. His study was based on the systems movements across the sky. However, in 2003, Jeremy King of Clemson University questions and doubts on the statement made by Ejnar Hertzsprung.

The star has a strong history in its background, and requires extensive research on various fronts till the real facts are known to general public.

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