Author Topic: Sirius B  (Read 3494 times)

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Offline Markus

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Sirius B
« on: June 28, 2006, 09:59:34 am »
Hi there,

since the Diamond Lady asked in another thread... we we're talking about Sirius B, and I said:

Sirius or alpha Canis Maioris is the brightest fixed star in the skies. It turned out to be a binary. The main component is a bright star still on the main sequence, i.e. still in the middle part of its star life; the companion is a white dwarf, the remnant of a burnt-out sunlike star. As usual, the main component is named "Sirius A", the companion "Sirius B". There's no planet or constellation of that name.

Then Lucy asked what "Po Tolo" means.

Well, there's a modern myth claiming that the Dogon, a "primitive" tribe knew about Sirius B before modern science found out. They were, so the tale goes, told about it by an alien race and knew the star under the name "Po Tolo". Well, of course they didn't know about it, it's fairly easy to take that myth apart, but it does make a nice story. :D


Markus Astronomicus
« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 10:00:18 am by Markus »
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Offline Lucy

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Sirius B
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 10:15:43 am »
Wow, thank you! And thanks for the "Diamond Lady" too!  :blush:

Offline The One

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Sirius B
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 05:41:46 pm »
Um... Markus, I should also add that "Po Tolo" in fact means "Small star" ("Po"= the name that the Dogon gave to the smallest grain they knew, "Tolo"= Star) and as Sirius B was not visible to the Dogon as Sirius A did (which they by the way called "Sigu Tolo") they thought iut was too small to see from Earth. That's why they called it like that.
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