How to locate the North Star in under 60 seconds

Doug Williams
 
ESA/Hubble CC BY 3.0
ESA/Hubble CC BY 3.0

Knowing how to locate the North Star is one of the greatest basic survival skills. This skill is crucial for the reason that the axis of Earth is pointed almost straight at it.

 

Throughout the course of the night, the North Star does not set or rise, but stays in very near the same spot above the northern horizon all year round while other stars circle around it. If you were at the North Pole, the North Star would be straight over your head.

For the reason that the North Star is known to stay set, it is at all times visible in a clear night sky (from the northern geographical area) and at all times pointing north, our relatives utilized it for thousands of years as a guiding star on sea and land.

Discovering the North Star was a basic acquirement all travelers and navigators knew and utilized on a regular base; a skill that has been unnoticed by the masses since the innovation of the compass. Unlike the compass, the North Star at all time points to TRUE NORTH. There is no magnetized declination to deal with.

The North Star as we know it as today is really titled POLARIS (by astronomers) and, astonishingly, it was not at all times The North Star and it will not always be. One of the easiest ways to find Polaris is by using the cluster of stars recognized as the Little or the Big Dipper.

So you could go outside tonight, and try to locate one of them first. The Little dipper and the Big Dipper are in reality the only cluster of stars I understand how to locate. I’ve understood this since I was a child, and it is easy.

If you locate the Big Dipper first, find the two stars Merak and Dubhe located in the outermost part of the Big Dipper’s bowl. Simply imagine drawing a line from Dubhe to Merak, and go about five times the space to locate Polaris. If you locate the Little Dipper first, Polaris is the last star in the cluster of the Little Dipper.

After you locate the star, open your arms sideways while interfacing it:

In front of you is True North

Behind you is South

Your right-hand points due East

Your left-hand points due West

Another fascinating fact about the North Star is that it is not merely one star. What we recognized as The North Star (Polaris) is a system consisting of 3 stars, two small companions, and a super giant star. Because of the vast distance and that the giant star is one of the brightest in the night sky, the naked eye sees it as one star.

 

 
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