Sirius: At Midnight on New Year’s Eve, See the Brightest Star

December 31, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Sirius, a star, will be visible at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

It’s the brightest star in the night sky. “Intrinsically, Sirius is over 20 times brighter than our Sun and over twice as massive,” according to NASA.

Siruis is known as the Dog Star because of its prominence in the constellation Canis Majoris (Big Dog). 

Sirius should be called “the New Year’s Star,” says EarthSky, because every year at the stroke of midnight, the star reaches its highest point in the sky.

To find Siruis:

-If you’re in mid-northern latitudes, look to the southeast starting around 7 to 8 p.m

-If you’re not sure, look for the prominent Belt stars of the constrellation Orion, which always points to Sirius.

“So Sirius is highest in the sky at midnight every New Year’s. Astronomers call this a midnight culmination of Sirius. As the New Year rings in, Sirius is at its highest,” according to EarthSky.

“By midnight, by the way, we mean the middle of the night – midway between sunset and sunrise. Like the sun, the stars rise in the east and travel westward across the sky. When the sun or any star is in the eastern half of the sky, it’s climbing upward. When the sun or any star is in the western sky, it’s descending downward. Midway between rising and setting, the sun or any star reaches its highest point in the sky.”

 

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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