The Dogon and Sirius
Tests 2-3

Martin Clutterbuck

Sirius B is a White Dwarf. It is a star roughly the size of the Earth, but with roughly the mass of the Sun. Here is what the Harvard Bright Star Catalog (available from CDS as a Gzipped file, requiring Gunzip) has to say:

"B is first white dwarf ever discovered; predicted by Bessel (1844) on basis of orbital motion of Sirius, it was first seen by Alvan Clark in 1862, and its peculiar high temperature, small size and great density established by W. Adams in 1925."

(First photo of Sirius A & B by Irving Lindenblad 1973)

The first man to properly understand white dwarves was (Nobel laureate and died only in 1995) Subramanyan Chandrasekhar in 1928. Having a mass below what is now known as the Chandrasekhar Limit (1.4 solar masses), Sirius B avoided collapse into a Neutron Star or Black Hole; having used up its fuel, its gravitational collapse has been balanced by the exclusion principle of its so-called "degenerate electrons."

Our most recent numbers for the dimensions of Sirius B are presented in

Sirius B: A New, More Accurate View
by J.B. Holberg, M.A. Barstow, F.C. Bruhweiler, A.M. Cruise and A.J. Penny
Astrophysical Journal v.497, p.935 04/1998 (Another great find from NASA ADS)

Temperature, mass (Mo), radius (Ro) take Holberg et al's figures without the