Mirzam

(redirected from Beta Canis Majoris)
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Mirzam

(meer -zahm) See Canis Major.
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Today's Mirzam (our Beta Canis Majoris) is the announcer of the greatest star of them all, Sirius, though an earlier announcer of Sirius for observers around 40[degrees] North latitude is Canis Minor's lst-magnitude luminary Procyon.
Forming a triangle with Sirius and Beta Canis Majoris is the open cluster M41.
I leave it to the reader's imagination as to why pictures of the mineral barite, a giant floating soap bubble, an old mercury barometer, and six balloons are linked to the stars Alphard, Beta Canis Majoris, Chi Lupi, and HZ 21, respectively.
In particular, note the pair about 4.5 million years ago, the one on the left, which peaked at magnitude -3.99, is Epsilon Canis Majoris; the slightly fainter one on the right, which reached magnitude -3.65, is Beta Canis Majoris. Even more interesting, their times of greatest brilliancy overlapped.