Identifying your Direction
Trivia Question: What is the brightest star in the northern sky? If you answered the North Star you are in good company. Many people incorrectly believe that The North Star is among the brightest stars because it has served as a celestial landmark for navigational purposes for centuries. Given that it barely breaks into the Top 50 of brightest stars, what explains its fame and function?
The North Star, Polaris, resides very close to the North Pole. The North Pole is the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Since other stars in the northern hemisphere essentially rotate around The North Star, it holds nearly still in the dark heavens. When early travelers needed to be oriented, they would locate The North Star. With that as their steady point, they could identify South, East and West.Read More