The North Star

The North Star, often coined as the Pole Star, is a highly visible star to the naked eye, and furthermore is deemed often as being aligned with the Earth�s axis of rotation. The North Star�s other name the Pole Star is given due to the geographic location, being located above the north pole, hence North Star. The star also has many references to other world cultures such as the Greeks, who believe that in Greek Mythology, that the star is related to Set-Typhon, which has the ability to control the gods. In regards to the Egyptians, many of their pyramids share the same principle of pointing to the Northern Star; these pyramids are from the years of 2000-2500 BC and the Newgrange, which was around 3000 BC.

The North Star lies about 3 degrees from the North Celestial pole, and is located in the constellation Ursa Minor. The North Star being relatively luminous has a magnitude of 1.97, therefore making it the brightest of the stars within the Little Dipper. A general misconception about the North Star is that it is the same star all the time. However, due to the precession of equinoxes, the North Star is not actually one star, but rather one place. Each of the stars within the Little Dipper are rotated out of position, therefore making the North Star an actual location within the Little Dipper and not a star. North Star, or Polaris has been known by many names in the past: The Lodestar, the Steering Star, the Ship Star, and Stella Maris, meaning Star of the Sea. It also had different names in different countries. In China, it was known as Tou Mu, the name of Chinese goddess of the North Star. Old Greek navigators called Polaris, Kynosoura, meaning the dog's tail. Finally, the name came to English as cynosure, meaning something that strongly attracts attention by its central position. Not only did it have different interesting names, it also had many great mythologies. In Scandinavian mythology, the Norse gods built the universe by taking body parts of their defeated enemies. After that, they hammered an enormous world spike into the center of the universe and made the sky revolve around it. The world spike had a jeweled nail-head and it was forever fixed on the great sky dome as Polaris. In Omaha Indian mythology, during tribal disruption, one of the chiefs� sons left the town and went out to hunt. However, he lost his way in the forest. To find his way back home, he attempted to spot the star that does not walk, which was the pole star.

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