Sirius shines like a diamond

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

IF YOU are out and about around midnight on New Year's Eve, and can still focus your eyes, take a look to the south before Big Ben's bells announce the start of 2013. There, above the treetops, you'll see Sirius, the brightest star in the whole sky, glittering like an icy diamond.

Because Sirius never climbs very high in the sky as seen from the UK, we always see it through lots of distorted air above the horizon. That's why it appears to flash and sparkle with countless shades of blue, red and green on these frosty winter nights.

Sirius is one of the closest stars to us, only 8.6 light years away. That means when you look at it the light entering your eye set off almost nine years ago. Time travel, and you don't even need a Tardis!

Stuart Atkinson

Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:03pm Fri 28 Dec 12

Kendmoor says...

"Big Ben's bells"
The bell has bells? :P
"Big Ben's bells" The bell has bells? :P Kendmoor
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree