This period of extremely hot, humid, sultry weather that traditionally occurs in the Northern Hemisphere in July and August received its name from the dog star Sirius of the constellation Canis Major. At this time of year, Sirius, the brightest visible star, rises in the east at the same time as the sun. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heat of this brilliant star added to the sun’s heat to create this hot weather. Sirius was blamed for the withering droughts, sickness, and discomfort that occurred during this time. Traditional dog days start on July 3 and end on August 11.