Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: lisanne-ga
List Price: $10.00
14 Nov 2002 19:27 PST
Expires: 14 Dec 2002 19:27 PST
Question ID: 108060
The stars a Draconis (c.2700 BC) and B Ursa Minoris (c. 1100 BC) share an astronomical distinction from antiquity that they will share with a Lyra in many centuries (c. 14000). Identify the distinction and name the stars by their common names.
Answered By: legolas-ga on 14 Nov 2002 20:06 PST
Hi lisanne, What an interesting question to be asked on Google Answers! I've been fascinated with astronomy for a long time myself: and north star precession is especially fascinating. For a primer on 'precession', please see: http://www.crystalinks.com/precession.html I was able to find a few sites of interest, including some diagrams that help explain the fact that each of the three stars you mentioned was the "north star" at a particular point in time. http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/constellations/Ursa_Minor.html a Draconis - It was the Pole Star around 2700 BCE. This star is commonly called Thuban (the Arabic name for constellation). http://www.dibonsmith.com/dra_a.htm B Ursa Minoris - shortened form of "north star" (named when it was that). This star is commonly called Kochab. http://roland.lerc.nasa.gov/~dglover/dictionary/tables/table7.html http://www.dibonsmith.com/umi_con.htm Lyra, or "The Swooping" (Eagle) (or Lyrae) will be the "Pole Star" around 14,000 years from now. This star is also called, "Vega" http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/hr/7001.html http://www.dibonsmith.com/lyr_con.htm In short, all three were (or will be) the pole star. Thanks for such an interesting question--and thanks for using Google Answers! Search terms: north star precession "beta Ursa Minoris" "a Draconis" precession
rated this answer:
Thank you, very nice!
From: iang-ga on 15 Nov 2002 05:01 PST
Part three of the answer is wrong. Lyra is a constellation, a (alpha) Lyrae is the star Vega, found in Lyra. They're not synonymous. Also, Lyrae is the genitive case of Lyra; again, they're not synonymous. Ian G.
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