Polaris, additionally known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation. It is the closest bappropriate star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which renders the North Star crucial in navigating, as the star’s elevation above the horizon carefully matches the observer’s latitude.

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The North Star has actually a reputation for being bappropriate, yet it is not among the height 10 or even the peak 40 brightest stars in the night sky. It is just the 48th brightest star, and owes its reputation to the truth that it is the nearest fairly bbest (second magnitude) star to the North Celestial Pole.

Polaris is also the star that marks the finish of the Little Dipper‘s manage. It is around 434 light years or 133 parsecs remote from Planet.

Polaris goes by many kind of different names, consisting of the Northern Star, Pole Star, Lodestar, Guiding Star, and Cynosūra, obtained from the Greek κυνόσουρα for “the dog’s tail.” In primitive Greek times, Ursa Minor was taken to reexisting a dog, not a bear.


Polaris A, image: NASA

Polaris A is a classic Population I Cepheid variable. It is the brightest Cepheid variable in the skies. Cepheid variables are stars that astronomers usage to meacertain ranges to galaxies and clusters. The North Star’s brightness varies by 0.03 magnitudes over a period of 3.97 days. Its variability had been theorized because 1852, however was not evidenced till 1911, as soon as the Danish astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung evidenced the variation.

Polaris A’s amplitude and also duration of the variations have actually not stayed the same since exploration. Before 1963, the amplitude was more than 0.1 magnitude and also slowly decreasing. It lessened quite promptly after 1966 till it got to 0.05 magnitude, and also has actually been erratic however continued to be neared that array since. The duration of the variations boosted more or less steadily till 1963, once it remained consistent from 3 years, and also then started enhancing aget. Right now, the dimensions show a secure rise of 3.2 secs per year.

Alpha Ursae Minoris Aa has actually two companions. The one closer to the superlarge, designated Alpha Ursae Minoris Ab, is a dwarf belonging to the spectral class F7. It lies at an average distance of 17 huge devices and also has an orbital duration of about 29.6 years. The star has a extremely eccentric orbit that takes it in between 27 and 6.7 expensive devices from the primary component.

The star additionally amethod from the superlarge, designated Alpha Ursae Minoris B, lies 18 arc seconds ameans. It is a dwarf star with the stellar classification F3 1.4. It is at least 2,400 expensive devices ameans from Polaris A and also has actually an orbital duration of at least 42,000 years. Polaris B was found by William Herschel in 1780. It deserve to be seen in a modest telescope.

Polaris additionally has two even more remote companions, Alpha UMi C and also Alpha UMi D.

Polaris is the brightest in a little semicircle of stars recognized as the “Engagement Ring.” The stars lie within a area which is 6 degrees wide.

The North Celestial Pole lies approximately halfmethod between Polaris and Lambda UMi.

The binary nature of Polaris A was confirmed in 1929 after an examination of the star’s spectrum. All three components in the star system were revealed in Hubble imeras in January 2006.

Polaris may be 2.5 times brighter this particular day than as soon as the Greek astronomer Ptolemy oboffered the star, according to a current research study led by Scott Engle of Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

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The research, based on historic records and presented in a poster session at the Amerihave the right to Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2014, has actually revealed that the star has actually adjusted from 3rd to second magnitude considering that Ptolemy’s times. Engle and his team offered historic measurements of the star by Ptolemy in the year 137, the Persian astronomer Al Sufi in 964, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 1sixth century, and others.

Polaris – Alpha Ursae Minoris

Constellation: Ursa Minor Distance: 325 – 425 light years (99 – 129.5 parsecs) Coordinates: Alpha Ursae Minoris A – 02h 31m 49.09s (right ascension), +89°15’50.8” (declination) Alpha Ursae Minoris B – 02h 30m 41.63s (ideal ascension), +89°15’38.1” (declination) Apparent magnitude: 1.98v (Alpha Ursae Minoris Aa), 9.2 (Alpha Ursae Minoris Ab), 8.7 (Alpha Ursae Minoris B) Absolute magnitude: -3.6 (Alpha UMi Aa), 3.6 (Alpha UMi Ab), 3.1 (Alpha UMi B) Spectral class: F7Ib (Alpha UMi Aa), F6V (Alpha UMi Ab), F3V (Alpha UMi B) Variable type: Classical Cepheid (Alpha UMi Aa) Mass: 4.5 solar masses (Alpha UMi Aa), 1.26 (Alpha UMi Ab), 1.39 (Alpha UMi B) Radius: 46±3 solar radii (Alpha UMi Aa), 1.04 (Alpha UMi Ab), 1.38 (Alpha UMi B) Luminosity: 2,500 solar luminosities (Alpha UMi Aa), 3 (Alpha UMi Ab), 3.9 (Alpha UMi B) Temperature: 6,015 K (Alpha Umi Aa), 6,900 (Alpha UMi B) Designations: Polaris, Alpha Ursae Minoris, North Star, 1 Ursae Minoris, Cynosura, Alruccabah, Star of Arcady. Navigatoria, Yilduz, Mismar, HR 424, BD +88°8, HD 8890, SAO 308, FK5 907, GC 2243, ADS 1477, CCDM 02319+8915, HIP 11767