‘The Mystery of the Red Sirius’ to be topic of Quincy Astronomy Club meeting on Thursday

Red sirius

| Photo courtesy of Earth Sky

QUINCY — The Quincy Astronomy Club will be presenting a live ZOOM lecture titled “The Mystery of the Red Sirius” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at John Wood Community College in Room D022/023 on the lower north end of Building D in the rear. The public is invited.

The star Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and dominates the winter sky. Sirius (also known as the Dog Star) appears as bluish-white in contrast with red Betelgeuse in the adjacent constellation, Orion. The historical records from the Middle Ages, Romans, early Greeks and possibly even the ancient Babylonians refer to a “red” Sirius. Was Sirius red until recent times? If so, what physical process or event caused the dramatic color change of Sirius?

Speaker Fred Bruhweiler grew up in West Quincy, Mo. He received his doctorate from the University of Texas and has published results spanning a wide range of astrophysical topics. He retired as professor and director of the Institute for Astrophysics and Computational Sciences at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Bruhweiler is now a physicist-in-residence and research professor at American University, also in Washington, D.C. He has maintained an affiliation with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center since 1978.

The Quincy Astronomy Club was formed by local amateur astronomers and seeks to teach, explore and expand minds about space and the universe. Lectures are held monthly, usually on the last Thursday of the month. The club also holds evening observing sessions which are scheduled as weather and observing conditions permit. Local amateurs with their telescopes guide the observing sessions.

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