Re: Curious about Sirius
According to the The Bright Star Catalog, Sirius B has an effective
temperature of about 32,000 K making it much hotter than the sun so that the
star emits about 900 times more radiant energy per square meter of surface
than you or I do.
The very small luminosity of the star then must mean that the star has a very
small surface area, that is, that the star is quite small in size. This type
of star IS known as a white dwarf. Sirius B must have almost the mass of the
sun packed into a volume smaller than that of the earth. The density of
Sirius B must correspond to about 5000 tons per cubic inch. A white dwarf
star like Sirius B is a stellar corpse that is very slowly cooling by the
radiation of heat from those around it now and in our ancient past.
The stellar impact still does not deny the brightness of a white or red dwarf
shining like the sun and of it's influence in the past, present or future!
Eric C. Kellar
Univesity of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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