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House of Black | Astronomical Names  >> print available

House of Black | Astronomical Names
↳Andromeda Tonks (Née Black)

ANDROMEDA CONSTELLATION – “The Chained Maiden”

MYTHOLOGY: Andromeda was the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia of Ethiopia. One day, Cassiopeia angered the Nereids (sea nymphs) by claiming Andromeda was more beautiful than they. As punishment, the sea god Poseidon sent Cetus (a sea monster) to destroy Cepheus’ kingdom on behalf of the Nereids; only Andromeda’s sacrifice would appease him. Andromeda was chained to a rock and left for the monster until Perseus came to her rescue. Andromeda and Perseus then married and had six children. After her death, the goddess Athena placed Andromeda’s image among the stars (between Perseus and Cassiopeia).

NOTABLE FEATURES:
Size: 19th biggest constellation.
Spiral Galaxy: Andromeda Galaxy1 – closest galaxy to the Milky Way & the most distant object in the night sky that is visible to the naked eye.
Meteor Shower: The Andromedids – occurs in mid-November.
Brightest Star: Alpharatz (Alpha Andromadae, Sirrah)2 – a binary star 200 times more luminous than the Sun. Sources/Learn More  →  x | x | sky guide

House of Black | Astronomical Names
↳Sirius Black

SIRIUS – “The Dog Star”

ETYMOLOGY: Sirius comes from the Greek seirios (searing / scorching). In ancient times, Sirius rose before the sun during the hottest days of the summer (announcing the rising of the Nile River in Ancient Egypt). These days were known as the “Dog Days” of summer to the Ancient Greeks and Romans who believed Sirius was responsible for the extreme heat. Ancient Greeks also believed Sirius could have adverse effects upon actual dogs during the summer.

NOTABLE FACTS & FEATURES:
•  Brightest star in the night sky.
•  Binary Star system – Sirius A and Sirius B (white dwarf).
•  One of the closest stars to Earth – 8.6 light years away.
•  26 times more luminous than the Sun.
•  Part of the Canis Major (Greater Dog) constellation (one of Orion’s hunting dogs).
Sources/Learn More  →  x | xsky guide