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North Star

noun, Astronomy
1.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for North Star

North Star

noun
1.
the North Star, another name for Polaris (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for North Star
n.

"Pole Star, Polaris," Middle English norþe sterre (late 14c.); cf. Middle Dutch noirdstern, German nordstern.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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North Star in Science
North Star  
See Polaris.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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North Star in Culture
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 Article for 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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