Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
Here is a star that northern stargazers rarely see. It is Canopus, and it is the second-brightest star in the entire sky.
You won’t see this star from the northern U.S. or similar latitudes. But northern skywatchers who travel south in winter – or people in latitudes like those in the southern U.S. – enjoy watching this star.
You can always find Canopus by first locating Sirius, the sky’s brightest star. Just face southward any evening around now. You cannot miss Sirius because it is so bright. Sirius makes a wide arc across the southern sky at this time of year. Canopus makes a smaller arc as seen from latitudes like those in the U.S., and, to us, Canopus appears below Sirius in the southern sky.
If we were in the southern hemisphere now, our perspective on this star would be very different. From Australia and New Zealand now, Sirius and Canopus both ride high in the sky. They are like twin beacons dominating the night.
Written by Deborah Byrd
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