Latham, David W. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The star α Ursae Minoris, also known as the North Star or Pole Star. It is perhaps the best-known star in the northern sky. Its location only 1° of arc from the north celestial pole, the point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the celestial sphere, has made it a very useful reference point for navigation. It may easily be found by following the line joining the two bright stars at the end of the bowl of the Big Dipper. See also: Celestial sphere; Ursa Major; Ursa Minor
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