Happy Friday! It is, of course time to have a look at Dictionary.com to see what the Word of the Day is. “Lucida”. It comes from the Latin phrase, “stella lucida” meaning “bright star”. It can also be traced to the Latin verb “Lucere” which means “to shine” and comes from the word “Lux” meaning “light”. The English started using the word in the 1700’s.
Of course after learning this new word, I was curious to know which star is the brightest. Here is a bit of information for you to store in your brain vault of random facts. It might help you win a trivia game one day!
The brightest star in the sky is Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star” or, more officially, Alpha Canis Majoris, for its position in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is a binary star dominated by a luminous main sequence star, Sirius A, with an apparent magnitude of -1.46. Sirius A’s apparent brightness can be attributed both to its inherent luminosity, 20 times that of the Sun, and its proximity. At just 8.7 light years away, Sirius is the seventh closest star to Earth.
In 1844, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel suggested that the star’s slightly wavy path through the sky, compared to that of background stars, indicated a fainter companion. Alvan Clark confirmed the companion’s existence in 1862. Now known to be a white dwarf, Sirius B is easily spotted in a large telescope, but contributes little to the system’s total apparent brightness.
And here is my haiku…nothing fancy…just a jingle to help me remember
Sirius, you dog!
Aren’t you quite the lucida
outshining our sun!
kat ~ 9 September 2016