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Canis Major (pron.: /ˌknɨs ˈmər/) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was included in the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy's 48 constellations. Its name is Latin for 'greater dog', and is commonly represented as one of the dogs following Orion the hunter (see also Canis Minor the 'lesser dog'). Canis Major contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, known as the 'dog star'. It is bright because of its proximity to our Solar System. In contrast, the other bright stars of the constellation are distant luminous bright giants and supergiants. At magnitude 1.5, Epsilon Canis Majoris(Adhara) is the second brightest star of the constellation, followed by Delta (Wezen) at 1.8, Beta (Mirzam) at 2.0 and Eta (Aludra) at 2.4. The red supergiant VY Canis Majoris is one of the largest stars known.

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