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Great Britain

Set B3 - Out Into Space - card information

39. Canis Major
(The Great Dog)

39. Canis Major (The Great Dog)

Old legends say Canis Major was 'the hound of Orion when hunting'. It is visible from December to March, below Orion on the horizon. Its main star is Sirius (Dog Star), brightest of all stars, and one of the nearest to the Earth, being only about nine light years distant. Sirius means 'sparkling' and appears to change colour quickly as it sparkles . . . mainly a blue-white. Eastern nations looked to its rising as the precursor of great heat, hence 'the dog days', Sirius being overhead in our dog-days, though invisible.