Guardians of the Pole


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The Ursids, or Ursid meteor shower, are an annual meteor shower that coincides with the winter solstice.

The Ursids occur from December 17 to 25 and peak just before Christmas, around December 22, with a zenithal hourly rate of 10 meteors per hour. The meteor shower was named for its radiant point, or apparent point of origin, which lies in the direction of the bright star Kochab in Ursa Minor.
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Polaris: The North Star

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Polaris, also known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation.

Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation, as the star’s elevation above the horizon closely matches the observer’s latitude.

The North Star has a reputation for being bright, but it is not among the top 10 or even the top 40 brightest stars in the night sky. It is only the 48th brightest star, and owes its reputation to the fact that it is the nearest relatively bright (second magnitude) star to the North Celestial Pole.
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