Polaris, the Pole Star or North Star, it a reasonably bright star located almost directly above the Earth’s North Pole. Unless you’re very close to the North Pole itself, it is visible to the observer’s North and therefore has been an important night navigational tool.
In this video, I will show you how to find Polaris using the Big Dipper or the Plough – which is one of the most recognisable patterns of stars in the night sky – and never sets for mid-high latitude observers in the Northern hemisphere.
Polaris is not visible in the southern hemisphere – it is always below the horizon unless you’re very close to the equator. There’s currently no bright southern pole star.
Polaris won’t always mark the north celestial pole. In about 1,000 years time, Polaris will be more than 5º away from the pole due to a process known as precession of the equinoxes.