The name Polaris comes from the Latin term Stella polaris, which means ‘polar star’. Star names reflect the myths and practicalities associated with them. Polaris lies at 40 degrees latitude on Earth. It is a beautiful and useful object to use for navigation, especially for those sailing on the ocean. Here are some facts about Polaris. Here are some ways to see it:
Polaris varies in brightness from 1.86 to 2.13 magnitude. Prior to 1963, its brightness was more than 0.1 magnitude. The brightness then began to fall gradually until 1966 when it dramatically dropped to less than 0.05 magnitude. Since then, its brightness has fluctuated unpredictably, but has remained near the 1966 magnitude. The latest study from 2008 found that Polaris was actually getting brighter. This was unexpected because it had been known that Polaris had been decreasing in brightness before.
The North Star appears higher in the sky the further north you go, and lower in the south. Ancient mariners could determine its location and altitude from this star. The same applies to modern people. It is useful for navigation because it gives a general idea of your location. Using the star helps you navigate safely. The star can tell you how far away you are from home. If you know the exact location of Polaris, you can use it to get directions.
The planet’s rotational axis causes the star to move from its original position. The star rotates every day and has a varying position in the sky. The position of the star changes every two years, and Polaris is no exception. It has been around since ancient times, but it was only recently that it became the North Star. This made it extremely useful for navigation, even in ancient times. So, don’t be surprised if Polaris is not visible to you!
The star has a relatively small companion. In August 1779, William Herschel found the first star in the Polaris system, Polaris B. This star can be observed with a small telescope. The two stars are in a tight orbit. The researchers plan to observe the system for several years to find out the exact mass of Polaris and its companion. In addition, they want to determine the motion of Polaris’ small companion, Polaris Ab.
Although the North Star isn’t the brightest star in the sky, it can be spotted in cities. It’s located in the direction of true north – which differs from magnetic north. Thus, the star is known as Polaris, since it sits more or less directly over the north celestial pole. The equator and the geographic north pole lie at 90 degrees of latitude, making Polaris the closest to the northern horizon in the winter and opposite in the summer.
During the time that the Earth was in its most recent pole, the North Star was not Polaris. The brightest star was Thuban in Draco, 4,600 years ago. However, as the Earth’s axis tends to drift, sometimes the star is closer to the pole than Polaris is to the pole. For the next 12,000 years, the bright Vega will be the pole star. If Polaris’ position continues to change, Polaris will be the North Pole Star again.
A simple way to find Polaris is to look for the two bright stars on the Big Dipper. The two stars in the Big Dipper are known as Pointers, and they are a guide to determining the location of the North Star. The two Pointer Stars are five times the distance between Polaris and the North Star. If the Big Dipper is turned upside down, it is easiest to spot Polaris by tracing the imaginary line between them.
Due to its extreme distance, Polaris is not particularly bright for the naked eye. The faint star in the constellation is the 48th brightest star in the sky. It is a yellow supergiant that is undergoing a short-lived phase before ballooning into a red supergiant. It is also the largest member of a triple star system, Polaris Aa, Polaris B, and Polaris Ab. The third member of the triple star system, Polaris A, is a Cepheid variable, and fluctuates in brightness every few days.
The North Star is one of the most familiar and used stars in the sky. The star lies almost directly above the rotational axis of the Earth, while other stars spin around it. Following Polaris will take you directly north, and will be visible from all parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is part of the Little Dipper star cluster and is the brightest star in Ursa Minor. Although the North Star is not the nearest or the brightest star in the sky, its close proximity to the North Celestial Pole makes it a very useful navigation star.