Definitions

N3 Canis Majoris

Eta Canis Majoris

Eta Canis Majoris (η CMa / η Canis Majoris) is a star in the constellation Canis Major. It also has the traditional name Aludra.

Aludra shines brightly in the skies in spite of a large distance from Earth due to being intrinsically many times brighter (absolute magnitude) than the Sun. A blue supergiant, Aludra has only been around a fraction of the time our Sun has, yet is already in the last stages of its life. It is still expanding and may be becoming a red supergiant, or perhaps has already passed that phase, but in either case it will become a supernova within the next few million years.

The name Aludra originates from the Arabic: عذرا al-‘aðrā "the virgin". In ancient times Arabic astrologers/astronomers referred to a group of four stars in the Canis Major constellation, also known as the "Greater Dog", as Al 'Adhara "the virgins".

η Canis Majoris classified as an Alpha Cygni type variable star and its brightness varies from magnitude +2.38 to +2.48

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