Why doesn’t the North Star move in the sky?

Seven Bright Stars

If we look at the stars, and then look again an hour or so later, we see that the spinning of the earth makes all the stars but the North Star seems to change positions in the sky.

The North Star does not appear to move because it lies almost directly over the North Pole, on tip of the earth’s axis, on which the earth spins.  Also called the polestar, its real name is Polaris.

It is a possible to tell directions by the North Star.  When you point to it, you are pointing very nearly true north.

To find the North Star, first look for a group of seven bright stars that form the outline of long-handled cup.

This group is called the Big Dipper.  The two “pointer” stars in the front of the cup point to the North Star.  When you have found the North Star, look for the Little dipper.  The North Star is the last star in the Little Dipper’s handle.

Polaris will not always be the North Star.  Little by little the earth’s axis changes its direction.  After many centuries, the North Pole will be pointing to the star Vega, which will then become our North Star. – Dick Rogers

 

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2 Comments

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