Latham, David W. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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The star α Canis Majoris, also referred to as the Dog Star, the brightest of all the stars in the night sky (apparent magnitude -1.47). Sirius owes its apparent brightness both to its close distance to Earth, only 2.64 parsecs (8.14 × 1013 km or 5.06 × 1013 mi), and to its intrinsic luminosity, which is more than 20 times that of the Sun. It is a main-sequence star of spectral type A1 with an effective temperature of about 9400 K (16,500°F). See also: Magnitude (astronomy); Parsec; Spectral type
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