Monday, 16 June 2014

How do you find the North Star?

The North Star is actually called Polaris. It’s relatively easy to locate Polaris.

First, you need to find probably the most famous constellation – the Big Dipper. Find the bottom two stars making up the side of the dipper’s bowl, Merak and Dubhe. If you take the distance between these two stars, imagine a line going through Merak and Dubhe continuing for five times the Merak-Dubhe distance and you’ll have reached Polaris, the North Star. Polaris is also the very bottom star that completes the handle of the slightly harder-to-spot Little Dipper.

Despite popular belief, it’s not the brightest star in the sky. But because it appears to pulse, it can appear exceptionally bright. It’s famous for barely moving in the night sky, whilst other stars around it will circle Polaris in a counter-clockwise motion.

Polaris is referred to as the North Star because it acts like a giant celestial clock. If you face the star, you will be looking due north, with east on your right and west on your left.

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