Procyon A

Essay by vaughan0 November 2004

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The Procyon System is located about 11.4 light-years from our Sun, Sol. Procyon A, or Alpha Canis Minoris A, is the brightest and most easily located naked-eye star of the Constellation Canis Minor (the Smaller Dog). Procyon is also the upper left member of the "Winter Triangle", whose other components are Sirius (Alpha Canis Minoris) at lower left and Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) at right center.


Procyon A has a close companion star B, which make up a binary star system. Procyon A and B may be separated on average by a semi-major axis of 14.9 AUs (4.271") in an elliptical orbit that takes 40.82 years to complete. The distance separating the two stars varies from 8.9 and 21.0 AUs; they are always separated from each other by roughly the orbital distance of Saturn - Uranus in our Solar System. "The inclination of the orbit is 31.1°, from the perspective of an observer on Earth."

- quoted from lost source.

Procyon A, is the eighth brightest star in the night sky. Unlike the Sun, it is a white-yellow main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type F5 V-IV. This relatively large star has about 1.5 times Sol's mass and about 1.4 to 2.3 times its diameter (0.00510 to 0.00550). Compared to Sol, Procyon A is hotter and about 7.5 times brighter. It also emits much more ultraviolet radiation. It is probably a relatively young star, but being so much bigger and hotter than the Sun, the star will exhaust its core hydrogen within the 4.6 billion years of Sol's current age and turn into a red giant before getting rid of its outer layers to become a white dwarf. Procyon A is unusually bright for its spectral type and so may be becoming a sub giant star that is...