The North Star, also known as Polaris, is a part of the constellation Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor is also referred to as the Little Bear or the Little Dipper.
The North Star is the final star in the handle of the Little Dipper or Ursa Minor constellation, which is composed of a total of seven stars. The nearby constellation the Big Dipper or Ursa Major, also known as the Big Bear, is brighter than Ursa Minor and is often used to locate the North Star. The North Star can be located by tracing a line from Dubhe and Merak, two of the stars that constitute part of the Big Dipper's bowl.Learn More
Another name for the North Star is Polaris. Polaris is approximately 323 light years from the Earth, and it has the brightness of 2,500 suns.Full Answer >
When the North Star (Polaris) appears 5 degrees above the horizon, it means that the observer is 5 degrees latitude north of the equator. Polaris is as many degrees above the northern horizon as the observer's latitude above the equator; at the North Pole (90 N), it is directly overhead.Full Answer >
Five facts about Ursa Major are: it is also known as the Great Bear, it is the largest constellation in the sky, it has a companion constellation known as Ursa Minor, the body and tail are part of the Big Dipper and most of Ursa Major is circumpolar. Circumpolar means that the constellation can be seen all year long.Full Answer >
Polaris, or the North Star, is a Cepheid variable. This is a type of star whose brightness grows and dims regularly over time. Cepheid variable stars dim and brighten with such regularity that they are used to calculate interstellar distances.Full Answer >