Star Naming Guide: Notable Stars in the Sky

Polaris: North Today, Not Tomorrow

The North Star has been used for centuries as a navigational tool. Its existence has long been a point of fascination for mankind taking a place of prominence in the mythology of past civilizations.

n truth, “North Star” is just a title—many astronomers refer to it as Polaris. And one surprising fact about Polaris is that it won’t always be the North Star. Due to the gradual change in direction of the Earth’s axis, we can only expect Polaris to align with true north for about another 5,000 years. After that, the rightful title of North Star will transfer to Alpha Cephei, followed by Vega after 7,000 years, and Thuban after another 9,000.

By the time Polaris has retired its northward reign, it’s possible the human race may have already traveled to distances beyond the North Star (after all, at 430 light years distant, it’s only a hop away in interstellar terms). By then the notion of actually purchasing a star may be commonplace, or at least feasible. Until such time, the permanently earthbound can take a symbolic slice of the celestial pie by using name-a-star services to pay tribute to loved ones.

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