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Encyclopedia > North star
Time-exposure photo of Polaris and neighbouring stars, taken from Cerro Noroeste. In 2006 Polaris was 42' from the north celestial pole, and so does not lie exactly at the centre of the concentric circular star trails.
Time-exposure photo of Polaris and neighbouring stars, taken from Cerro Noroeste. In 2006 Polaris was 42' from the north celestial pole, and so does not lie exactly at the centre of the concentric circular star trails.

The North(ern) Star is the prominent pole star that lies closest in the sky to the north celestial pole, and which appears (approximately) directly overhead to an observer at the Earth's North Pole. The current North Star is Polaris, which lies about two-thirds of a degree from the pole at the end of the "bob" of the Little Dipper asterism in the constellation Ursa Minor. Polaris has a visual magnitude of 1.97 (second magnitude). (Some people mistakenly think that Polaris is the brightest star in the night sky. This title belongs to Sirius, and there are many others stars also brighter than Polaris.) Look up North Star in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The term Northern Star may refer to the following; The Belfast based newspaper of the Society of United Irishmen founded in 1791 and suppressed by the British army in 1797. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A four hour long exposure on a Nikon D2h camera is made possible using multiple shorter exposures (using the C.E.M.E.N.T. algorithm). ... Cerro Noroeste (or Mount Abel) is located in Southern Californias Kern County, a mile north of the Ventura County border. ... For other uses of the words Pole star and Polestar see Polestar (disambiguation). ... The two celestial poles are the imaginary points where the Earths spin axis intersects the imaginary rotating sphere of gigantic radius, called the celestial sphere. ... For other uses, see North Pole (disambiguation). ... -1... Ursa Minor is a constellation in the northern sky, the name of which means Small Bearin Latin. ... In astronomy, an asterism is a pattern of stars seen in Earths sky which is not an official constellation. ... Block quote :See also Ursa Minor Alpha a place in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... The apparent magnitude (m) of a star, planet or other heavenly body is a measure of its apparent brightness; that is, the amount of light received from the object. ... This article is about the brightest star in the night sky of Earth. ...


The North Star has historically been used for navigation, both to find the direction of north and to determine latitude. It always appears due north in the sky, and the angle it makes with respect to the horizon is equal to the latitude of the observer. The North Star is visible only in northern hemisphere skies and so cannot be used for navigation south of the equator. This article is about determination of position and direction on or above the surface of the earth. ... This article is about the geographical term. ...


Currently, there is no South Star as useful as Polaris; the faint star σ Octantis is closest to the south celestial pole. However, the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross, points towards the pole. The South Star is the star which is circumpolar to the celestial South Pole (as Polaris, the North Star, is for the celestial North Pole), and can thus be reliably used for navigation. ... This article is about the astronomical object. ... Sigma Octantis (σ Oct / σ Octantis) is a magnitude 5. ... CRUX is a lightweight, i686-optimized Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users. ...


A similar concept applies to other planets; see Pole Star for details. For other uses of the words Pole star and Polestar see Polestar (disambiguation). ...


Past and future

Due to the precession of the equinoxes the direction of the Earth's axis is very slowly but continuously changing, and as the projection of the Earth's axis moves around the celestial sphere over the millennia, the role of North Star passes from one star to another. Since the precession of the equinoxes is so slow, a single star typically holds that title for many centuries. Precession of the equinoxes refers to the precession of the Earths axis of rotation. ... The celestial sphere is divided by the celestial equator. ...


In 3000 BCE the faint star Thuban in the constellation Draco was the North Star. At magnitude 3.67 (fourth magnitude) it is only one-fifth as bright as Polaris, the current North Star (situated 430 light-years away). BCE redirects here. ... Thuban (α Dra / α Draconis / Alpha Draconis) is a star (or star system) in the constellation of Draco. ... This article is about the star grouping. ... Draco (IPA: , Latin: ) is a far northern constellation that is circumpolar for many northern hemisphere observers. ... Alternate cover Tour Edition Cover Light Years is also the American name of the Rene Laloux animated film Gandahar. ...


Gamma Cephei (also known as Alrai, situated 45 light-years away) will become closer to the northern celestial pole than Polaris around 3000 BC, and be at its closest approach around 4000 AD. The title of North Star then will pass to Iota Cephei (ι Cephei, situated 115 light-years away) some time around 5200 AD. The first magnitude star Vega (26 light-years away) will then become the North Star by 14000 AD. Gamma Cephei (γ Cep / γ Cephei) is a star in the constellation Cepheus. ... Iota Cephei (ι Cep / ι Cep) is a Class K0, third-magnitude star in the constellation Cepheus. ... For other uses, see Vega (disambiguation). ...


See also

Nautical Portal
Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For other uses of the words Pole star and Polestar see Polestar (disambiguation). ... The South Star is the star which is circumpolar to the celestial South Pole (as Polaris, the North Star, is for the celestial North Pole), and can thus be reliably used for navigation. ... Circumpolar stars are those stars which are located near the celestial poles of the celestial sphere, i. ... The celestial sphere is divided by the celestial equator. ... The two celestial poles are the imaginary points where the Earths spin axis intersects the imaginary rotating sphere of gigantic radius, called the celestial sphere. ... The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, which could be constructed by inflating the Earths equator until it intersects with said sphere. ... Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) was a navigator and an admiral for the Crown of Castile whose voyages to America greatly expanded European exploration and colonization of the continent (Vikings had previously had a colony at current New England, and there is significant support for Carthaginian pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic contact). ...

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