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Astronomy - Astrophysics and Astroparticles | Sirius Matters

Sirius Matters

Brosch, Noah

2008, XVII, 216 p.

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  • Presents the historical and astrophysical context of Sirius at an advanced level
  • Examines in detail the historical evidence for redness, considering possible physical explanations
  • Presents intriguing issues in the evolution of this binary system: a very massive white dwarf, the elliptical orbit, a metallic-line primary

Since very early times Sirius was a point of attraction in the night sky. It served to synchronize calendars in antiquity and was the subject of many myths and legends, including some modern ones. It was perceived as a red star for more than 400 years, but such reports were relegated to the Mediterranean region. Astronomically, Sirius is a very bright star. This, and its present close distance to us, argues in favor of it being the target of detailed studies of stellar structure and evolution. Its binary nature, with a companion that is one of the more massive white dwarfs, is an additional reason for such studies. This book collects the published information on Sirius in an attempt to derive a coherent picture of how this system came to look as it does.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Astrometry - Redshift - Sirius book - Star - bright binary system - stellar - stellar astrophysics Sirius - stellar evolution Sirius

Related subjects » Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Astrophysics and Astroparticles - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences

Table of contents 

1 SIRIUS MATTERS 2 Historical perspective 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Egypt and the ancient Middle East, 2.3 Ancient Greece and Rome, 2.4 Africa and Arabia .2.5 India, China, and the Far East, 2.6 North and South America, 2.7 Polynesia and Australia, 2.8 Jewish connections, 2.9 Conclusions 3 Mysteries of the Sirius System 3.1 The issue of historical redness, 3.2 Explanations for redness, 3.3 The binary nature of Sirius, 3.4 The Dogon tribe and a modern Sirius mystery, 3.5 Conclusions 4 Approaching modern times 4.1 The discovery of Sirius B: a tale of gravity 4.2 A third body in the Sirius system?, 4.3 Modern searches for a third companion, 4.4 Conclusions 5 Modern optical measurements 5.1 Astrometry, 5.1.1 The Hipparcos satellite, 5.2 Photometry, 5.3 Spectroscopy, 5.3.1 Rotation, 5.3.2 Magnetic field, 5.3.3 Gravitational redshift and spectra of Sirius B, 5.4 Conclusions 6 Modern non-optical observations, 6.1 Infrared, 6.2 UV and EUV measurements, 6.3 High energy observations, 6.4 Basic stellar parameters, 6.5 Conclusions 7 The neighborhood of Sirius | 7.1 Interstellar matter, 7.2 Very small LISM structures in the Milky Way, 7.3 Stars in the neighborhood of Sirius, 7.4 Conclusions 8 The perspective of stellar structure 8.1 Upper main-sequence stars and Sirius A, 8.2 White dwarfs and Sirius B, 8.3 Conclusions 9 The perspective of stellar evolution 9.1 Evolution of a main-sequence A star: Sirius A, 9.2 Evolution of a white dwarf: Sirius B, 9.3 Binary star evolution: Sirius as population representative, 9.4 Conclusions 10 Sirius revealed-a synthesis of the information 10.1 Sirius analogs, 10.2 Sirius-basic data, 10.3 Synthesis of information, 10.3.1 Specific models for Sirius, 10.3.2 Red color in antiquity, 10.4 Conclusions

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