The dog star ‘Sirius’ is now high and visible in winter skies looking South. Draw a line down and left from Orion’s belt and you can’t miss the brightest star in the night sky.
Sirius means ‘scorching’ and was considered a second Sun of sorts to many ancient cultures. Its incredible brightness is due to its close proximity. At only 9 light years away it’s the 5th closest star system to our Sun and a fairly typical hydrogen fusing main sequence star likely to live a long stable life of several billion years. This is in contrast to short lived giant stars like Rigel and Betelgeuse, which are very distant and appear bright due to their bloated sizes and massive energy output.