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03/27/2015 – Ephemeris – The North Star, Polaris

March 27, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, March 27th.  The Sun will rise at 7:33.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 8:03.   The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 3:49 tomorrow morning.

Tonight we turn our eyes northward to Polaris, the North Star.  It is the closest bright star to the north pole of the sky.  It appears nearly stationary as all the other stars appear to revolve around it as the Earth rotates.  Some folks, think that Polaris is the brightest star in the sky.  It’s not.  It is a good solid second magnitude star, about the brightness of a Big Dipper star.  The Big Dipper can be used to point to it, by using the two stars at the front of the bowl.  Polaris is at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.  The Little Dipper has four dim stars in its rather oddly bent handle and back of its bowl.  The two stars at the front of the bowl of the Little Dipper are Kochab and the dimmer Pherkad, which are also called the Guard Stars or the Guardians of the Pole.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Polaris finder chart

How to find Polaris. The grid is the equatorial grid showing the proximity to the pole. Created using Stellarium.

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