Intro and Visual description
South of Orion in the Winter Hexagon, near the horizon. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.
Canis Major is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.
One of Orion’s two faithful dogs, following him across the sky. Sirius, called Sothis or the Dog Star, was significant in Egyptian mythology, and its heliacal rising signalled the start of the Egyptian year in the third millenium B.C. This constellation has been associated with several mythical dogs, including the hound of Actaeon.
Sirius takes its name from the Greek work for Scorching. In Middle Earth, Sirius was known as Helluin (ice-blue), Nielluin, Niellune, or Nierninwa (tear- or bee-blue). (Rachel Magruder)
M41 (Galactic cluster), mag. 5.0.