The North Star

  • IASbaba
  • February 6, 2023
  • 0
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Context: Amid demands by the Opposition for a discussion on the row surrounding the Adani Group, Vice President said Parliament is the “North Star” of democracy and everyone is required to work in accordance with rules.

About the North Star:

  • Polaris, also known as the North Star or the Pole Star, is a very bright star (around 2500 times more luminous than our sun) placed less than 1° away from the north celestial pole.
  • Its position and brightness have made humans use it for navigation since late antiquity.
  • It is a part of the constellation Ursa Minor and is around 323 light-years away from Earth.
  • Since Polaris lies nearly in a direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis above the North Pole, it stands almost motionless in the night sky, with all the stars of the northern sky appearing to rotate around it.
  • This makes it an excellent fixed point from which to draw measurements for celestial navigation.
  • The elevation of the star above the horizon gives the approximate latitude of the observer and in the northern hemisphere.
  • If one can see Polaris one can always tell which way is north (and, by extension, which ways are south, east and west).
  • Upon crossing the equator to the South, the North Star is lost over the horizon and hence stops being a useful navigational aid.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) In the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year normally occurs in the: (2022)

  1. First half of the month of June
  2. Second half of the month of June
  3. First half of the month of July
  4. Second half of the month of July

Q.2) On 21st June, the Sun (2019)

  1. does not set below the horizon at the Arctic Circle
  2. does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle
  3. shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator
  4. shines vertically overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn


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