Saturday, 4 November 2017

CADET ACTIVITY: Can you find the North Star?

Polaris, the North Star, is an important navigational star because its position in the sky is almost exactly (within a few degrees) lined up with the rotational axis of the Earth. This means that no matter where you are on the Earth (so long as you're in the Northern Hemisphere) if you face toward Polaris you are facing North. Finding Polaris is an incredibly useful night time navigation technique that's helped everyone from the Egyptians to the Vikings find there way on the open seas. But it also is one of the easiest stars to find. Find the constellation of Ursa Major, commonly known as the Big Dipper. It is perhaps the most easily recognizable constellation in the night sky, and looks like a large spoon or perhaps a wheel barrow.
It is composed of seven bright stars - three in the handle and four in the head of the spoon. If you can find it in the picture above, great. If not, look at the next photo.
Next, imagine the line connecting the two front stars of the Big Dipper, (marked in red). If you continue this line off to the upper right, the first bright star you come to is Polaris, the North Star.
Can you find the North Star in the night sky? (http://www.instructables.com)

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