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The Dune Encyclopedia
This article or section refers to elements that appear exclusively in The Dune Encyclopedia.

Canopus is a white, main sequence star. It is the center of the planetary system with sufficient mass to hold six bodies in orbit about it.

Canopus, emits an abnormally high flux of charged particles with imbedded magnetic-field segments which severely contract the planets' magnetic field, such as Arrakis, causing magnetic disturbances.[1]

Canopus is a star of high stability. Rarely do star spots form in the photosphere; those that do last at most a few days. The corona is not extensive but does have slight periodic variations. These variations are manifested in a change in charged particle density in the stellar wind and in the stellar-wind velocity. Canopus does not produce a large flux of neutrinos.[2]

Canopus and the white hole Canopus B are gravitationally bound and mutually orbit each other every 5.1 days. The ratio of the mass of Canopus to Canopus B is very high, 11520 to 1, with the center of mass of the binary system 79,000 km below the photosphere of Canopus. The mass of Canopus B and mass ratio explain why Canopus B passes within 40 km of the photosphere of Canopus at the near point of the orbit.

A small discrete region shows very high field strength, caused by the presence of Canopus B.

Other dataEdit

  • spectral class: Q5.
(As with all class Q5 stars, the emission lines of triply ionized Teridium (Tr+++) and singly ionized Zeon (Ze+) predominate)
  • mass: 2.1 x 1034 grams
  • equatorial diameter: 1.7 X 106 km.
  • absolute magnitude: -3,
  • temperature:
top of the photosphere: 7400°K
central: est. in excess of 70 million degrees.
(spectral lines of the lighter elements are present but of low intensity)
  • magnetic field: @ 92 kilo reyvals.
(atypical of class Q5 stars which have general magnetic fields that rarely exceed 75 Kr; a possible explanation lies in the abnormally high terellium content)
  • energy generation: less than 1.2 x 10-6 over the period of a year

Splitting of the tertiary Korane absorption doublet was discovered by Quanal in 14797 AG and established the presence of a general magnetic field.

Because of the primary's high mass, the velocity required to escape the gravitational hold of Canopus is 53.5 km/sec, thus the need for high energy propulsion systems for interstellar space vehicles.


The Canopus star is a real star in the Milky Way Galaxy, and is named after the pilot of a ship owned by Menelaus, one of the original Atreides. The other etymology of the name "Canopus" is that it comes from the Egyptian Coptic Kahi Nub ("Golden Earth"), which refers to the way it would appear near the horizon in Egypt and be correspondingly reddened by atmospheric extinction from that position.


  • ARRAKIS, Astronomical aspects of

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Magnetic field
  2. Geologic history, tectonics

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