Procyon - the Binary Star of Canis Minor

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 0 comments

Procyon, the seventh brightest star in the night sky is located in the Canis Minor 
constellation. It is the brightest star in its constellation which appears as 
a single star to the night eye. But it is actually a binary star system with 
Procyon A as the main star with a faint white dwarf star Procyon B. It lies at 
a distance of just 11.46 light years away from our Earth.

Procyon has an effective surface temperature of 6530k. It is 1.4 times the 
mass, twice the radius of the Sun.The star has nearly fused its core hydrogen 
to helium and is currently expanding. As it expands, it will eventually become 
red or orange in color after 10 to 100 million years. Procyon B has more 
surface temperature then Procyon A. It has an effective surface temperature 

Procyon is one of our nearest stellar neighbours, with most unlikely support to 
life. As the Procyon A does not have a stable orbit and also the Procyon B 
makes a stress over the existence of life. Moreover Procyon  emits more of 
ultraviolet rays that may be damaging to life. Even if chances of life to 
exist near that star, it would be short lived and will leave its main sequence 
by preventing the development of life.

There were attempts to detect x-ray emissions from Procyon with x-ray 
sensitive detectors. However it was detected only during 1979 with High 
Resolution Imager(HRI).  So far Procyon has been discovered as a binary star system that is the process of transforming into a bright red star with constant expansion.


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