JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky with a visual apparent magnitude of -1.47, almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. Sirius is bright due to both its intrinsic luminosity and its closeness to the Sun. At a distance of 2.6 parsecs, (8.6 light-years), the Sirius system is one of our near neighbours.
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