Astrology Notes - Herong's Notes - v2.12, by Dr. Herong Yang
Sirius - The Brightest Star
This section provides a brief introduction of the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.
Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, which is about 8.6 light years away from the Earth. The name Sirius comes from Greek word "seirios", meaning "glowing".
One way to find Sirius is locate constellation Orion first, look at the Orion's belt, three bright stars in a row in the middle, then follow an imaginary line through the belt to reach the brightest star, Sirius. The following picture provides you a good illustration, http://www.astronomy.org:
Sirius is part of constellation Big Dog, Canis Major, or the Greater Dog. So Sirius is also called the Dog Star.
In ancient Greek culture, when Sirius rises above the eastern horizon at dawn, called heliacal rising, summer hot days will come. Only dogs would be mad enough to go out in those hot days. This is why Sirius is named as the Dog Star.
In ancient Egypt culture, Egyptians based their calendar on the date when Sirius rises above the eastern horizon at dawn, called heliacal rising, which occurs just before the annual flooding of the Nile and the summer solstice.
In Chinese culture, Sirius is called Tian Lang Xing (天狼星). The Greater Dog constellation is called Da Quan Zuo (大犬座).
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