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North Star



The North Star, also called the Pole Star or Polaris, is the star that the earth's axis points toward in the Northern sky. For many years, people have been fascinated with this star and the fact that it doesn't seem to move in the sky. Some have created legends explaining why the star stands still. The most famous story about the North Star is the Native American myth explaining why the North Star stands still. In this story, a brave son Na-Gah tried to impress his father by climbing the tallest cliff he could find. Through difficult conditions he persisted until he found himself at the top of a very high mountain. The mountain was so tall that Na-Gah looked down on all the other mountains. Unfortunately, there was no way down. When his father came looking for him, he found Na-Gah stuck high above. Not wanting his son to suffer for his bravery, he turned Na-Gah into a star that can be seen and honored by all living things.

Today the Earth's axis points within one degree of Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor (also called the Little Bear or the Little Dipper). Polaris appears to be in a fixed position in the sky throughout the year. All other stars and constellations seem to revolve around the North Star.

Over the course of time, the North Star changes. Right now Polaris is within one degree of true north, but at other times the North Star has been and will again be Thuban (the brightest star in the constellation Draco), Vega (the brightest star in the constellation Lyra), and Alpha Cephei (the brightest star in the constellation Cepheus).

The North Star changes over time because the direction of the earth's axis changes slowly over time. Since by definition the North Star is the star most closely aligned with the earth's axis, as the axis moves the nearest star changes too.
Image size
3888x2592px 5.68 MB
Shutter Speed
10/12500 second
Focal Length
38 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Sep 2, 2007, 5:21:18 PM
© 2007 - 2023 ahermin
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Skyfeather2's avatar
I love that you didn't cut off the sides as unimportant because they were just black, it really adds to the wonder of this piece that the sides are there and the main part isn't centered =D