This Word Means: North star

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Source: The post is based on the article This Word Means: North starpublished in Indian Express on 5th February 2023.

What is the News?

The Vice President has said that the Parliament is the “North Star” of democracy, a place of discussion and deliberation to realize the aspirations and dreams of the people.

What is a North Star?

The North Star is also known as Pole Star. It is a very bright star — around 2,500 times more luminous than the Sun.

It is part of the constellation Ursa Minor and is around 323 light years away from the Earth.

The North star is less than 1° away from the north celestial pole, almost in direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis.

It appears to sit motionless in the northern sky, with all the other stars appearing to rotate around it.

Significance: North Star position and brightness have allowed humans to use it for navigation since late antiquity.

The elevation of the star above the horizon gives the approximate latitude of the observer.

However, upon crossing the equator to the south, the North Star is lost over the horizon and hence stops being a useful navigational aid.

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