Aludra (Eta Canis Majoris)
A supergiant B star and the
fifth brightest star in the constellation Canis
Major. Its name refers to an Arabic group called "the Virgins,"
which consists of the stars of the Great Dog's lower portions. Some of the
Virgins, including Aludra and Wezen, are in
a loose stellar association known as Collinder 121.
|Map © 2003 Torsten Bronger
Formed only about 12 million years ago, Aludra is already in old age, blowing
a strong stellar wind from its surface
at a speed of some 500 km/s. The material it has lost – about one-third
of a solar mass – has gathered into a cloud that is detectable by
its infrared emission. A seventh magnitude white star about 2' from Aludra,
easily visible in a small telescope, is not a physical companion but lies
a mere 600 light-years from the Sun – about five times closer than
||3,200 light-years (1,000 pc)
||R.A. 07h 24m 05.7s,
Dec. -29° 18' 11"
||31 Canis Majoris, HR 2827,
CD-29°4328, HD 58350,
SAO 173651, FK5 283,
HIP 35904, GC 9886,