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Sirius says goodbye to the evening sky

The night sky's brightest star dips into twilight. 

Sirius

The constellation Canis Major, the Large Dog, is home to the night's brightest star, Sirius (right). The constellation also hosts the open cluster M41 (left).

José Carlos Diniz
This week provides skywatchers with their final opportunity to get a good view of Sirius, the night sky’s brightest star, before evening twilight swallows it. 

This luminary gleams at magnitude –1.5 low in the southwestern sky on Wednesday. If you look an hour after sunset (approximately 9 p.m. local daylight time), Sirius lies about 10° high. 

In all likelihood, the star will be twinkling madly as its light passes through the thick layers of turbulent air that lurk near the horizon. 

The bright star was recorded in some of the earliest texts about astronomy, and its precise annual departure and return may have played a key role in the development of some ancient calendars. 

For more night-sky targets, check out The Sky This Week.  

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