Procyon (α CMi, α Canis Minoris, Alpha Canis Minoris) is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor. To the naked eye, it appears to be a single star, the eighth brightest in the night sky with a visual apparent magnitude of 0.34.
The reason for its brightness is not its intrinsic luminosity but its relative closeness to the Sun. Its distance was worked out by the European Space Agency Hipparcos astrometry satellite. It is just 11.46 light-years (3.51 parsecs) away, and is one of our nearest stellar neighbours. Its closest neighbour is Luyten's Star, about 1.12 ly (0.34 pc) away.
References[change | edit source]
- "Procyon". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed, 1989.
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- Perryman M.A.C. et al 1997. The Hipparcos Catalogue. Astronomy and Astrophysics 323: L49–L52
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- Schaaf, Fred 2008. The brightest stars: discovering the universe through the sky's most brilliant stars. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley, 166. ISBN 978-0-471-70410-2