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The Dog Star Shines Brightly This Week

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The Dog Star Shines Brightly This Week

The brightest of all stars shines prominently this week at around 10:30 p.m. local time over toward the south. Sirius, the “Dog Star,” is the brightest star of the constellation which bears the Latin name Canis Major — the Greater Dog.

In color the star is a brilliant white with a definite tinge of blue, but when the air is unsteady it seems to flicker with all the colors of the rainbow. Seeing it in the sky will almost certainly remind you of the poem Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Why Do Stars Twinkle?

At a distance of 8.7 light years, Sirius is the fifth nearest star known. Among the naked-eye stars it is the nearest of all, with the exception of Alpha Centauri. Four thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians noticed that Sirius would rise just before dawn at the time of the summer solstice, apparently heralding the coming rise of the Nile, upon which Egyptian agriculture — and all life in Egypt — depended. Hence, Sirius also became known as the “Nile Star.” See how Sirius is associated with the “Dog Days of Summer.

How Do I Locate Sirius?

Locating Sirius is easy! Just find the most recognizable constellations in the winter sky — Orion. Follow the three stars of Orions Belt straight down to Sirius, which will be unmistakable and bright.


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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Reading Farmers' Almanac on Tablet with Doggie

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