Posted by: tpsciencefun | November 7, 2012

What Do A Compass and the North Star Have in Common??

Now, that’s a very interesting question. Let’s start with asking which way does a compass always point? Correct … North, actually Magnetic North.  Now, where is the North Star in the night sky?  Right, as its name indicates, it gives us a point of reference as to which direction is  North no matter where we are in the North Hemisphere.

So, both a compass and the North Star a valuable navigational tools as long as your compass has not become demagnetized and the skies are not cloudy.

So why doesn’t the North Star move and change locations like the other stars and constellations in the night sky.  Why do the  stars appear to move across the night sky and we see different constellations during the year?  The answer is very easy, the sky is not moving, WE ARE.

Now for the 20 point question, why doesn’t the North Star not move??  Well, I must confess, I had to look up the answer and below is what I learned.  Isn’t great to always be learning something new!!

The North Star, (Polaris), is known to stay fixed in our sky. It marks the location of the sky’s North pole, the point around which the whole sky turns. That’s why you can always use Polaris to find north.

The North Star is a special case because it lies almost exactly above Earth’s northern axis (the North Pole), it’s like the hub of a wheel. It doesn’t rise or set. Instead, it appears to stay put in the northern sky.  How cool is that!!!

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