[Systems] - Sirius

Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris)

Spectral type: A1
Apparent magnitude: -1.42
Right ascension: 06h 43m
Declination: -16 39'

Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, and has no end of interesting mythology behind it. To the Hindus, it was Sukra, the rain god. The Egyptians worshipped it as the herald to the Nile floods. In the summer, ancient peoples blamed the searing brilliance of Sirius for the heat and humidity that would sweep the lands. (To this is often attributed the origin of the expression "dog days of summer.") However, to show just how fickle they were, they also blamed the crystalline light of Sirius by winter for the extreme cold!

The reason Sirius shines so brightly is not because it's the biggest, hottest star out there. In fact, Sirius is only about 1.8 times the Sun's size--hardly a giant, by stellar standards! The reason behind its amazing apparent magnitude is its proximity to us. Sirius lies at a distance of only 8.7 light years, one of the closest stars in the sky.This has prompted all sorts of science fiction stories about what would happen if Sirius went supernova, most concluding that it would cancel football season.

Sir Edmund Halley (the comet dude) made use of Sirius' proximity when, in observations of Sirius, Arcturus, and Aldebaran, he discovered that stars have "proper motion." What this means is that their positions in our sky change over time. This, of course, is due to the fact that they're moving with respect to our own solar system. Which is why if you live to be a billion years old, the Big Dipper won't look like a dipper at all anymore, even through your bifocals.


Sirius (AE0LIS-2)

CPU: Dual AMD Athlon 1800MP
Memory: 1024MB
Disk: 33600MB
OS: Red Hat Linux 7.3

Sirius hosts all of the neat multimedia tools of the AE0LIS Constellation. Additionally, it provides production capabilities for the AE0LIS variant of the Red Hat distribution and allows use of Windows programs to interact with the AE0LIS Constellation.

Registered Linux System #48606

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Last update:  Thursday, June 22 2006 @ 16:31:33 UTC.