May. 30th, 2005

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"The 15 Brightest Stars" Astronomy Interest Group. April 1999. 31 May 2005.

1)* Sirius (in Canis Major. 8.6 Light years away.): The Dog Star, whose summer appearance, according to the Romans, made it responsible for the ‘heat of the Dog Days’.

2) Canopus (in Carina. 313 LY away.) : A celestial searchlight, 200 000 times brighter than the Sun! Used by spacecraft for navigation due to it also lying far above the ecliptic.

3)* Alpha Centauri (in Centaurus. 4.4 Light years away.): A triple star system, with only two of the three stars being easily visible. The dim one (Proxima) is the closest star to planet Earth

4) Arcturus (in Boötes. 37 Light years away.): Just as a comparison: the heat we receive from Arcturus is equivalent to the heat received from an ordinary candle 8 kilometres away.

5) Vega (in Lyra. 25 Light years away.): In the science fiction novel Contact (now also a movie starring Jody Foster), this is the star the aliens sent their intriguing message from.

6)* Capella (in Auriga. 42 Light years away.): The two stars in this binary are so close that it is impossible to see the two components separately even with a large telescope.

7)* Rigel (in Orion. 773 Light years away.): Another celestial searchlight - the primary star in this binary system is 60 000 times more powerful than the Sun.

8)* Procyon (in Canis Minor. 11 Light years away.): Its name means “rising before the dog” ie. rising before Sirius, the Dog Star; as seen by ancient Mediterranean civilizations.

9) Achernar (in Eridanus. 144 Light years away.): Meaning “river’s end”, this star is at one end of an imaginary ‘river of stars’ (the river Eridanus) which starts close to the star Rigel.

10) Betelgeuse (in Orion. 427 Light years away.): An immense supergiant star over 1000 times larger than the Sun! This star’s orange-red colour is clearly visible with the naked eye.

11)* Agena (or Hadar) (in Centaurus. 525 Light years away.): This is the second of the two well-known Pointers to the left of the Southern Cross, and is more accurately known as Beta Centauri

12)* Altair (in Aquila. 17 Light years away.): This star is in fact egg-shaped - with the equatorial diameter nearly twice the polar diameter!

13)* Acrux (in Crux. 321 Light years away.): Lacking a proper name, “a Crux” means this star is the first (or brightest) star of the Crux (Southern Cross) constellation.

14)* Aldebaran (in Taurus. 65 Light years away.): The name means “follower”- ie. of the Pleiades star cluster across the sky. Aldebaran is an orange star & also known as the eye of the Bull.

15)* Spica (in Virgo. 262 Light years away.): Spica occurs very close to the ecliptic - the imaginary plane or ‘racetrack’ along which the Sun, Moon and planets appear to travel.

*Stars marked with an asterisk are multiple stars; namely binaries (double stars), unless otherwise stated

(This is a direct quote from the website.)
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Daniel Deronda (BBC as seen on PBS.)

... Whatever literary PBS/BBC/A&E movies I can possibly find. I love them so.

~ Show mother Posession, which, although it is NOT very similar to the book, is very, very sweet. Academic-Mystery-Romances are the Way to Go!
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Heart we will forget him
Both you and I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light

When you have done, pray tell me!
That I may straight begin,
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I will remember him!
~Emily Dickenson

Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy-gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear;
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turned when he rose.

Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

(These are barely related at all. In any way. Oh well. Continuity isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway.)


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