Fair warning. The next person who asks me, “Is it HOT enough for you?” or says, “Man, it’s HOT!” will get a blast from my fully loaded water gun. I keep it nearby because it’s so hot and I use it to cool down! In fact, this time of year has its own official moniker – The Dog Days of Summer.
According to Space.com, “Some will say that summer’s ‘dog days’ signify hot sultry days ‘not fit for a dog,’ while others suggest it’s the weather in which dogs go mad. But the ‘dog days’ are actually defined as the period when the Dog Star, Sirius, rises in conjunction (or nearly so) with the sun.” Here’s a map to show where Sirius is found at sunrise.
The article notes that some felt that the combination of the brightest luminary of the day (the sun) and the brightest star of the night (Sirius) was responsible for the extreme heat that is experienced during the height of the summer. The big thinkers of ancient times thought this period included droughts, plagues and madness! Whoa.
However, as science got better, cooler heads prevailed. Around 70 B.C., astronomer Geminus wrote, “It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the ‘dog days,’ but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun’s heat is the greatest.”
For the astronomy nerds out there (sweating profusely in the TX and OK heat), Sirius is the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog in Latin). According to Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, other names for it include “The Sparkling One” or “The Scorching One,” for obvious reasons. At a distance of just 8.7 light years, Sirius is the fifth-nearest known star and among the naked-eye stars, it is the nearest of all, with the sole exception of the Alpha Centauri system.
Big Deal. It’s Still HOT!
This is the time of the year when it is too hot to do ANYTHING but sit by the pool, stay inside where it’s cool and order out for dinner from MenuRunners. Why turn the kitchen into an inferno or get a heatstroke from grilling outside when great food from your favorite restaurants can be delivered to your door?
Look at it this way. Having food delivered from MenuRunners gives you more time to spend with your family and friends and talk about how hot it is outside! Plus, once it gets dark, you can pull out the old telescope and chat ‘em up about the Sirius star. Win/Win.
Mouthwatering meals from Chili’s, Dickey’s Barbeque, Firehouse Subs, Miguel’s Mex Tex Café, Golden Chopsticks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bell and many more excellent restaurants can be yours just by hitting the app and ordering.
Why risk the madness that worried the ancient astronomers? Don’t be crazy. During the dog days of summer, let us play fetch for you.