Sirius is the brightest star in Earth's sky. It is actually a binary system, meaning it is 2 stars, known as Sirius A and Sirius B.
It is so bright partly because it is a really bright star to begin with, but also because it is very close to Earth. It is only about 8.6 light years away. Over the next 60,000 years in will be gradually moving closer to our solar system.
Sirius has historical significance in various cultures around the world, because in some areas it is only visible above the horizon at certain times of year. In Ancient Egypt, the appearance of Sirius marked the annual flooding of the Nile. For the Polynesians, it marked the start of winter and was an important aid in navigation. In Ancient Greece, it appeared at the start of the hottest part of summer. Inhabitants on the Greek island of Ceos would even offer sacrifices to Sirius (and Zeus) in the hopes that it would bring a cool breeze to the island.
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