North Star

North Star

noun Astronomy.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English

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Collins
World English Dictionary
North Star
 
n
the North Star another name for Polaris

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
North Star  
See Polaris.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
North Star (Polaris)

A star positioned along the line in space that includes the axis of rotation of the Earth. For this reason, the star does not appear to move in the sky, but remains fixed above the North Pole.

Note: Locating the North Star is useful in navigation.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

north star

the brightest star that appears nearest to either celestial pole at any particular time. Owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the position of each pole describes a small circle in the sky over a period of 25,800 years. Each of a succession of stars has thus passed near enough to the north celestial pole to serve as the polestar. At present the polestar is Polaris; Thuban (alpha Draconis) was closest to the North Pole about 2700 BC, and the bright star Vega (alpha Lyrae) will be the star closest to the pole in AD 14000. The location of the northern polestar has made it a convenient object for navigators to use in determining latitude and north-south direction in the Northern Hemisphere. There is no bright star near the south celestial pole; the present southern polestar, sigma Octantis, is only of the 5th magnitude

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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