11 October 2014

Constellation Taurus

What does Taurus look like?

Taurus is a wonderful constellation, one of my favourites, alongside Orion and Cassiopeia. The area of sky is rich in interesting celestial objects, so this one's going to be a pleasure to investigate.

In most depictions of Taurus, unlike many other animal constellations, only the front half of the bull is often shown:

With the picture taken out, we are left with this basic shape for the constellation, the shoulders, head and horns of the bull:

(image: Enchanted Learning)

and here's the more common names for some of those stars, as well as a couple of interesting objects (The Pleiades and Hyades and M1):

(Image: Finbarr Sheeh, The Guardian)

So, how do you find Taurus?

Taurus is very visible in the northern sky in the winter months. Since we already know how to find Orion and Gemini, finding Taurus is relatively simple. Though Orion is often shown as holding the body/pelt of a lion, in the sky he stands with his sword and shield raised towards the bull. There are some very bright and distinctive stars in the head of Taurus.

(image: EAAE)

Another image, in particular, showing how the constellations of Orion and Gemini align with Taurus (we'll come back to Monoceros, which sits faintly between Orion, Gemini, Canis Minor and Canis Major):

(image: One Minute Astronomer)

In the image below, you can find many of the constellations you now know, and use them to find Taurus. I can see: Orion (near the three belt stars); Canis Major (follow those belt stars down to the left corner); Canis Minor (straight up from Canis Major); Gemini (top left corner) and finally Taurus, top right corner [as usual, click on the image to see it clearer]:

What are the main stars in Taurus?

The most well-known star in Taurus is Aldebaran. Some others of note are:  El Hecka, El Nath, Atlas, Hyadum I and Hyadum II, Ain, Alcyone to name a few; the latter being one of the brightest of the star cluster Pleiades, several of the others belonging to the star cluster Hyades. We'll start with the brightest.


The main star in Taurus, standing out in the sky, is the bull's fiery eye, Aldebaran (from "Al Dabaran" meaning 'the follower', in Arabic, named thus because it rises soon after the star cluster Pleiades). It's also called 'The Eye of Taurus' . You can find it by following Orion's belt upwards, roughtly in the direction away from Canis Major:

 (image: EarthSky- well worth a look at for all the info on Aldebaran)

The brightest star in Taurus (Alpha(α) Tauri) 14th brightest star in the sky, and sitting on the route that most of the planets, the sun and moon follow in the sky - the ecliptic...

A quick word about the ecliptic. Taurus is one of the zodiac constellations because these celestial bodies 'pass through' this area of sky, shown by the red line on this image (by the way, because there's no 'up' and 'down' in space, and how the stars look in the sky depends on where in the world the image was taken, sometimes the image doesn't show them up the same way...sometimes they're even upside-down to what we're used to):

(image: Hudson Valley Geologist)

A star map from May 28 2013, showing the path of several planets through Taurus (this time marked by the yellow line). This means that the moon (and sometimes a planet) will occult the stars of Taurus occassionally:

 (image: Startistics)

Because of the tilt on Earth's axis, the Sun, Moon and planets rise and fall along a slanted path each night:

 (image: EarthSky)

The following image, from John P. Pratt's Astronomy Notes, shows how the ecliptic path is lower in the sky in the autumn/winter, and higher in the sky in the summer:

Now, back to Aldebaran. Many a novice star-watcher has mistaken Aldebaran for the planet Mars, because of it's deep red colour (see in this image how red the star is compared to Bellatrix and the other surrounding celestial bodies):

(Original image: David Malin - Some amazing images taken
by David Malin et al at his website! His image, on this page,
shows up all the constellations and other objects)

Here, in this image by John Cumack from Astronomy Picture of the Day, Mars is seen passing through Taurus. Mars is above and left of centre, Alderbaran is below and left of can see how the two might be mistaken:

Just to make sure you got it:

Aldeberan might be yet another binary star system. It sits about 65 light years away, an orange giant star about 38 times the size of the Sun. It is a very slowly pulsating giant star, its variation not visible with the human eye, which is no longer burning hydrogen in it's core, but is now fusing helium to such elements as carbon and oxygen. The other star is Alpha Tauri B, which is a red dwarf of about 15% of the size of our sun. Although some accept the B star as a physical binary, some think it might be simply an optical binary (ie the only relationship between the two stars is that they both sit in the same line of sight away from Earth).

Aldebaran seems to be part of the Hyades cluster of stars (which forms the V shape of the head of Taurus) but in fact sits in front of it 65 light years away, whereas the star cluster is about 150 light years away (more on the Hyades below):

For some interesting references in literature and film, take a look at this Wiki page.

El Nath

The beta star of the constellation is El Nath (or Elnath, Alnath, Nath) is unusual in that it has belonged to two different modern constellations. It is the tip of the horn of Taurus, but,  until quite recently (1930), it was also considered the Gamma star of the adjoining constellation of Auriga. It's name, however, is the give-away. El Nath means the 'butting of horns' and Auriga, being a charioteer, has no it was decided that the star should stay with Taurus.

So, what tidbits do we know about El Nath? It's a really, really luminous and hot blue-white star (about 700 times the luminosity of our sun!) but it doesn't take pride of place in the constellation because it's twice as far (130 ly) than Aldebaran (65 ly) (see the 'How far away are the stars in Taurus' below) so doesn't appear as bright.

It has a faint visual side-kick, but isn't actually a binary and, in literature, is mentioned in a Star Trek episode, with the crew landing on its second planet.

Hyadum I

The third brightest star (the gamma star) is Hyadum I, a big bright middle-aged yellow giant, that is no longer burning hydrogen in its core, but is now fusing helium to make higher atomic weight elements like carbon. Hyadum I is part of the Hyades cluster (see below) that forms the head of the bull, relatively close in the sky to Aldebaran. I like the Arabic name for it: Awwal al Dabaran, which means "the first follower of the Pleiades," and sounds very much, to me, like a drawled 'Aldebaran'!

According to Jim Kaler, an oddity about Gamma Tauri is that, though it spins slowly, it emits 'highly excited X-ray emissions from iron, oxygen, and neon', which would be expected from a faster spinning star.

In literature/film, this is another star mentioned in Star Trek to have a planetary system, and has the pleasure of being close to the 'Cardassian' border. (At 150 odd light years away, technology would've had to have developed amazingly for the human race to be hanging around this area!)

Hyadum II

Like Hyadum I, Hyadum II is another of the Hyades cluster's four giants, and is also in the V of the bull's head. Called Eudora, one of the Hyades sisters (or the Pleiades' half sisters) from Greek mythology it's just a little dimmer than Hyadum I.

I would call it Delta Tauri, which it is, but it is only one of three star systems in the Hayades cluster with the same 'designation' or name.

So the brightest of these, the one we can see with the naked eye, is called Delta-1 Tauri. Delta-1 Tauri is an orange giant, with two companions - one visually close, and the other apparently orbiting it. The other two Delta stars are Delta-2 Tauri (a white, main sequence dwarf) and Delta-3 Tauri (also called Cleeia/Kleeia - another of the Hyades sisters), which is a triple-star system, consisting of a white sub-giant and its faint binary, a little way from another dim star.

(original image: Jerry Lodriguss)

As you can see in the above image, we have talked about three of the V stars. Another important one is Ain:


 Ain (or Epsilon Tauri/ ε Tau) is the fourth orange giant of the Hyades (also called Occulus Borealis, meaning 'Eye of the North'). It is also unusual in that it is an open cluster star with an exoplanet (a planet of another star system than our own Sun). The planet was discovered in 2007  is about 7 1/2 times that of our own Jupiter and orbits the star once about every 595 Earth days. This is Tyrogthekreeper's creation of the gas giant planet:

The next star on the list is the zeta star, El Hecka, the tip of the other horn than El Nath:

El Hecka

El Hecka is one of the furthest main stars of the constellation. When thinking how Aludra, of Canis Major, is over 3000 ly away, and the main stars of Orion are much further, this isn't so far, but it is still about four times the distance of many of the stars of the Big Dipper.
I like this description of the star from Constellation of Words, which explores the entymology (background) and symbolism of the constellations, almost as much as I like this image, which I haven't seen before:

(image: Constellations of Words)

Zeta Tauri is a spectroscopic binary, which means that though the two stars can't be 'resolved' or seen as two seperate objects, by the eye or telescope, that there are two distinct bodies has been recognised by the doppler effects caused by the motion around each other. The two stars are not much more than a single astronomical unit (the distance between the Earth and the Sun) apart! And considering that one of the stars is about 11 times the mass and 5 to 6 times the size of the Sun, and the other is just a little smaller than the sun, that is surely a clash of two great astronomical bodies. I've been trying to imagine it. It's like, if Earth was the size of the sun, and where the sun is would be a star that would fill an area of the sky like a big ball...I just wouldn't like to be between the two of them is all!

The bigger of the two stars is a Be star. We met one of these before in the constellation of Cassiopeia, I believe. Gamma Cassiopeia is one of the first recognised Be stars. A couple of the main characteristics of Be stars is their low ionisation 'emission lines' and the fact that they spin so that their gasses and outer layers float off and form a ring, or disc, around their middle, along with perhaps some sort of magnetic mechanism causing more ejections. It is this latter that causes the emission lines. They tend to be variable stars.

It's not certain what sort of star the companion is, only the mass and motion can be ascertained at this stage.


Just a quick word about this Lamda ((λ) Tauri star, Atlas (originaly named Sadr al Tauriwhich means the Bull's Chest). It is actually a triple star, of which two of the stars are an eclipsing binary. This means that those two stars orbit each other in the 'line of sight' (one in front of the other), blocking each other (or eclipsing each other) periodically. From this, their mass and orbits can be calculated. From this, it was discovered that two of the stars orbit each other in under 4 days...very close together, about a tenth of the distance between Earth and the Sun apart.

These two stars are both giants - one a massive blue-white star, the other sub-giant, both spinning fast (and orbiting each other pretty fast compared to how fast even Mercury orbits the Sun!).
Then, around these two stars orbits another smaller star every 33 days, shaking the larger two stars just enough to be measured (it is described as 'perturbing' them).
Here's a great image of them from Der kleine Sternenreisende:

There are lots of other bright stars in Taurus, but I will cover some of these when I look at the two star clusters in the constellation:

What are the deep sky objects in Taurus?

Pleiades (M45) 

 (Also named Collinder 42)

Along with the Trapezium in the  Orion Nebula, Taurus boasts one of the brightest open clusters in the sky. As a child, I knew the Pleiades as 'The Seven Sisters', and was told that, to see them clearly, you shouldn't look directly at the group of stars, but slightly to the side. This seems to be the case. Often you see the group of stars out of the corner of your eye, and when you go to look at them, you don't see them so brightly. Here the cluster is shown as the distinctive blue area in the top right almost looks like a small cloud:

 (image: Startistics)

Even though many of the stars of Taurus haven't been given full names, many of this cluster have been so honoured:

(image: Wikipedia)

The Pleiades is a group of about 250 hot stars, formed at the same time, probably from the same nebula dust cloud. Greeek legend has it that they are daughters of Atlas  (who had a place as the Lambda Tauri star) and Pleione (nearby Atlas to the left (east) of the cluster). Six stars are easily visible to most people. others can be seen with good eyesight or a pair of binoculars. The group sits on Taurus's shoulder.


One of brightest stars of the Pleiades, Alcyone is a hot blue-white giant and another Be star, which spins at the fast rate of 215 km per second! and has a gaseous disc around its equator. It will also have the low emission lines associated with Be stars. As might be expected, it is also a binary. In this case, an eclipsing binary, which means the stars orbit each other, periodically passing in front of each other. These two stars are about as far away from each other as the Sun and Jupiter. See here for other stars in the system.


(also named Collinder 50)

 The Hyades are the closest open cluster to us, so making the individual stars quite easy to see. Apparently they are racing away from us at an impressive velocity of 100000 miles per hour, at about 90 degrees from the direction the star Aldebaran is rushing south at twice the speed (See for details) - this will cause the bull's head to lose it's shape in about 50, 000 years!

Since I've already covered the main stars in the star cluster, I'll just leave you with this image by Jerry Lodriguss (APOD) I used earlier, but without all the drawing on it:

One of the most wonderful objects in Taurus is the Crab Nebula:

The Crab Nebula

This is a supernova remnant from a star that exploded about a thousand years ago,  in 1054 AD, and its was recorded by Chinese astronomers. It can be seen with a good pair of binoculars. You can see it near the bull's southern horn from this earlier image from Startistics:

When the star ran out of fuel to burn, and so the pressure outwards was exceeded by gravitational pressure, it would've imploded...until a point where the atomic particals were so condensed that they violently reacted with each other, blowing out much of the external material surrounding the core. This material has continued to expand in space over the last millenia, giving off a lot of x-rays and gamma rays.

See this YouTube video from ESA:

Because it was observed so long ago (and yet so recently in the history of the Universe) it is one of the longest observed supernova's.

Taurids meteor shower

(sometimes known as the Halloween fireballs, since they come at about the end of October)

The Taurids are not the best show of the year, but if you happen to be out and about, you might see a few more meteors than normal. This image is from Astronomy Central page listing, and describing, the meteor showers of 2014. The Taurids come from the Earth passing through the dust and debris left behind by the comet Encke.

How far away are the stars in Taurus? 

There was so much more I could've written about this constellation...when I've finished going through all 88 of the constellations, I may come back and write some posts on various objects I've missed... who knows.

Previous constellation: Canis Major

Next constellation: Ursa Minor (by the look of the none too plentiful poll results)

5 October 2014

Constellation Canis Major

What does Canis Major look like?

Canis Major is the easier of the two dogs to find. It is below (southwest of) Canis Minor, and its brightest star, Sirius (the Dog Star) can be found by following the line of Orion's belt westward.

This image from Pachamama Trust shows Canis Major and Canis Minor
in relation to Orion's belt and to each other.

The hunting dogs are most often shown as sturdy creatures, but a couple of images (see the two at the bottom left) show Canis Major as a skinny specimen:

Here is the skinny canine along with adjacent constellation, Lupus the rabbit, who he's often thought to be chasing. In this map depiction, it appears this rabbit is likely to escape : 


Main stars of Canis Major


Here's a reminder from StarWatch, how to find Sirius (also called Alpha Canis Majoris, α CMa, or the Dog Star), the brightest star in Canis Major, by following the stars from Orion's Belt:

I'm not sure why Sirius Black in the Harry Potter books was given his surname, apart from ironically. (Although I have seen it is after Sirius B, and supposed to represent the darker, hidden companion star, rather than the dominant Sirius A) His namesake star, Sirius, on the great dog's chest, is not only the brightest star in Canis Major, but is also the brightest star in the night sky. Only the sun, the moon, Jupiter and venus are brighter than it, so it's in the top five brightest of any object in the sky! Here's that excellent 3-D model from Closest Stars again:

This shows that, even though it isn't the brightest star in actual luminosity, because it is so close it looks like it. This is shown better in the image below. The bigger the stars, the brighter (more luminous) they actually are.
In the left circle the stars are shown as bright as they appear to us here on Earth (the bigger the spot the brighter they appear), but in the circle on the right, the stars appear as bright as if each one was put the same distance away from us (standardised by astronomers to be at 32.6 ly). As you can see, many of the stars in the tail end (the rear) of Canis Major are in reality a lot brighter than Sirius, even though is looks brightest to us, because of its proximity to Earth:

(Image from Sky and Telescope)

So, the reason Sirius (meaning 'scorcher' or 'glowing') is so bright is not because it's particularly hot (its temperature will be between 7500-9900K or about 7200 - 9600 degrees centrigrade, not the hottest around!) but because it is nearby. Our sun, though it looks white to us is actually a yellow star, with a temperature of about 6000K.

A bit about star temperatures and colours from Universe Today:

The color of a star is a function of its temperature. If a star looks red,
that means its surface temperature is approximately 2,500 Kelvin.
Just for comparison, our Sun, which actually looks white from space,
measures about 6,000 Kelvin. The hotter the star, the further up the
spectrum you go. The hottest stars are the blue stars. A star appears
blue once its surface temperature gets above 10,000 Kelvin,
or so, a star will appear blue to our eyes.

This chart (above) from Dr. Jamie Love's Principals of Astronomy beautifully shows the relationship between a star's surface temperature and luminosity, and the colour of those stars. One thing to notice is that, in this type of diagram, astronomers tend to put higher temperatures near the axis and cooler temperatures to the right. Though, to us, the sun is super-hot, and it's hard to imagine any hotter, here you can see it is actually towards the cooler end of the range, whereas Sirius is towards the hotter end of the range (but is far from the hottest).

Another thing to note is that, just because a star might have a similar surface temperature to another star, its luminosity might be different depending on such things as size :

If the surface temperature, at any point, is the same (eg, in this image, represented by the flame of a single candle) then, if you are a star with a small surface, you might have room for only a few candles,  whereas if you are a big star, having the candles the same distance apart (the same temperature at any one point) you might have hundreds of candles all over. So, although the small star has the same surface temperature as the big star, because it only has a few candles on it, it will be a lot less luminous than the big star.

This brings us to our next surprise (or not such a big surprise considering how common this is): Sirius is actually a binary star system.

(image: Windows to the Universe)

Once thought to be a single star (Sirius A), it turns out the star's luminosity hid a secret, less bright, companion...Sirius B or the Pup, discovered in 1862 by Alvan G. Clark eighteen years after its presense was predicted by Friedrich Bessel to explain the mains star's wobble.

So, going back to the earlier diagram above, showing temperature and luminosity, we now know it is not entirely accurate. It showed only Sirius A.

In the following diagram, the size of the stars (measured compared to our sun = 1R) are smallest in the bottom left corner (dwarf stars) and increase in size (diagonally) into the top right corner, where we have the largest stars (giants and super-giants). We can see that Alpha star's dimmer companion, Sirius B, whilst actually hotter, is much smaller - about one hundedth of the size of Sirius, and that is why it's so much dimmer. In fact, even though the smaller star has the mass of the Sun, it is only the same size as Earth! It is really hot, but really small - a white dwarf.:

Image:Institute of Astronomy and National Astronomical Observatory of Bulgaria

Sirius A is in the 'throwing off its outer layers' stage of life, whilst the Pup has passed this point. It is the remnant of a star that has lost much of its mass in earlier stages...expanding and contracting, and the throwing off of its out layers and, when there was not enough matter left to defy gravity, and so gravity pulled on what was left of the mass to make it collapse in on itself. This one was not heavy enough to go supernova, nor did it have enough internal heat left to fuse elements such as carbon in its core.

So it sits there cooling down. The heat it emits is not of an active sun, but the heat of a slowly cooling one.  BUT, if matter coming off of Sirius A were to build up around it beyond a critical mass of about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun, it could still go Supernova! Not in our lifetime though. Not for millions of years.

This type of supernova is shown between about 1.36 and 2.05 mins in the Hubble video:

Significant since ancient times, Sirius has been recorded by humanity around the world. Being one of the most prominent star in the sky, it has been given all sorts of significance [too many to list here, so I'll list some of the many significant records and occurrances at the end of this post], in the way humans do - they look for patterns out of chaos to make that chaos more easy to deal with (hence the asterisms of constellations in the first place...though, nowadays its important that these areas of the sky are more clearly defined in order to be able to specifically locate various astronomical bodies):

One thing worth mentioning here is how some think it's significant that the Sun lines up in front of Sirius around the 4th Independence Day. As it happens, they line up (are in conjunction) on the 5th July now. As the author of the following image states, when the first Independence Day was declared, over 200 years ago, the Sun lined up with Sirius on a different day, three days earlier.


This has changed due to something called as precession, the movement (wobble) of the earth as it spins (like this gyroscope on Wiki):



The beta (β) star in Canis Major is Murzim (also called Mirza or Mirzam), a blue-white giant:

(Image: slide from slideshow, Kentwood Amateaur Astronomy league)

A long time ago, in Arabia, it was paired up with the star, Gomeisa (in Canis Minor), and the pair of stars together was called The Herald, or The Announcers, their arrival in the sky announcing the coming of the much brighter Sirius, which rose abover the horizon soon after they did. Murzim is a Cepheid Variable, which pulses brighter and dimmer (though the difference can't be seen with the eye). At a temperature of over 21000 degrees centrigrade, it is hotter than Sirius, but, as we saw earlier, further away, so appears dimmer.


(Alongside Sirius, Muliphen, Adhara and WezenMurzim only just found a place on the Brazilian Flag, below Procyon from Canis Minor:


Strangely, though it is the second brightest star in the constellation, Adhara (meaning 'virgins') is given the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet (see sidebar), Epsilon (ε) Canis Majoris. It sometimes also called Prima Virginum, Thanih al Adzari (also called Menkelb Posterior) being the Secunda Virginum.

In the old Chinese star charts, Adhara was the seventh star of a constellation called Bow and Arrow (don't learn this, as we don't use it today) shooting at Sirius:

(image: Mathisen Corollory)

Adhara is a binary star (surprise! :-) ) that is moving away from our sun. A million years ago, when it was only 34 light years (ly) away, it surpassed Sirius as being the brightest star in the sky.


The third virgin (Tertia Virginum) in the Arabic sky, and the First star of Bow and Arrow (see image of the Bow and Arrow in Adhara, above), Canis Major's delta (δ) star, Wezen, is a supergiant a little cooler than our sun. Within the next 100 000 years it will likely go supernova.

(Image: students at Fresno)


Another of the star 'virgins', and the Second star of the Bow and Arrow, this super-bright super giant is a variable star (getting brighter and dimmer) and is often used by astronomers to measure the brightness/distance of other stars:



Yet another binary, but too far away to see the two stars apart visually, Farud's second star was found by recording and measuring the change of the electromagnetic spectrum as they orbit around each other - a spectroscopic binary system.


Interestingly, the name of Muliphen is used three times in naming the stars, and all three variants are 'gamma' stars: Muliphein is Gamma Canis Majoris, Muhlifain is Gamma Centauri, and Muliphen is Gamma Ophiuchi, of Ophiuchus's

Some deep sky objects in Canis Major

This pic shows the deep space objects very well (as well as the Milky way to the left of the constellation):

(image Science Centre)
(M46, M47 and M93 are in adjacent constellations)

 Messier Object 41 (M41)

[also called NGC 2287]  The main deep-space object in  Canis Major is M41, an open cluster, a group of about one hundred related stars, gravitationally bound to each other, about 2300 ly away. They are usually all formed from the same molecular cloud at around the same time.

(Image: Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics)

The overall group of stars should be visible with the naked eye, but about half of the stars in it are not so bright, but can be seen in an amateur telescope. There are also a few red giants, the best of which, K3, apparently sits right in the middle and stands out against the background like a jewel.

Other deep sky objects

Other open clusters in Canis Major are NGC 2204, NGC 2360 and NGC 2362 (I think I mentioned before that the 'NGC' stands for National General Catalogue?)

NGC 2207 and NGC 2217, marked on the above image, are both 'barred spiral' galaxies. They are quite faint and would need dark sky and a good telescope to see them.

The first, NGC2207 is colliding/merging with another spiral galaxy IC 2163. Where they are merging, the stars become particularly active, with interstellar molecular gas and dust being stripped off some stars and grabbed by others, and there are four known supernovae in this mix:

The other, NGC 2217 is more obviously barred (has a bars of gas and dust stemming from the centre, with arms coming off them)... The galaxy is a little brighter than NGC 2207, and it's a little bit bigger too. The bar across the middle has a fuzziness about it:

(Image: Science Center)

To me, that looks more like the Darth Vader Tie Fighter from Star Wars :-)

Distance of stars in Canis Major

-------- Sirius Snippets -------

(From many sources)

  • When the Sirius rose with (was ‘in conjunction’ with) the Sun, Egyptians knew this heralded the coming of the hot summer – dog days – but also known as the 'Nile Star', alerting the Egyptians to the coming of the flooding of the Nile. Egyptians also called it the Star of Isis.
  • Agean inhabitants offered sacrifices to Sirius and Zeus to bring cooling breezes – its bright reappearance bringing good luck, but if it was dimmed then pestilence would follow.
  • In Ancient Vedas, Sirius (Tistrya or Tistar) was known as the Chieftan's star, or Chieftan of the East. In Hindu writings, Sirius was known as the Rain Star, or Rain God. The Babylonian's knew it as 'm'l KAKSLDI, "the arrow-star"
  • Romans made animal sacrifices to the goddess Robigo so that Sirius wouldn’t cause the crops to have wheat rust.
  • Polynesians used bright stars to navigate between the islands and atolls of the Pacific Ocean
  • For the Māori of New Zealand, Sirius appearance in the morning sky marked the beginning of winter.
  • Name of Character in the Harry Potter books; Sirius Black, like Betelgeuse and Bellatrix may have been named after stars.
  • In the film The Truman Show, a ‘star’ that fell was actually a lamp with the words ‘Sirius (9 Canis…’ [some have taken this to symbolise Truman’s awakening ]
  • Masons revere the symbolism of the Dog Star.
  • The Egyptians may have built the shafts down to the King’s and Queen’s burial chambers to align with major stars, including one that aligns with Sirius.
  • In Egypt, Sirius was associated with Anubis
  • Disney’s song, ‘When you wish upon a star’ is purportedly ‘an ode to Syrius’

Previous constellation: Canis Minor
Next constellation: Taurus