Your North Star is your rock, your anchor in a sea of uncertainty. Your North Star may be a loved one, a principle, a life goal…it’s your guiding light, steadfast and bright, keeping you on course.
Center diamond is ideal-cut, brilliant white, poised within an echo of space. A halo of twinkling diamond light surrounds and at the compass points (north-south-east-west) slightly larger diamonds.
A Winter Night’s Walk
I was 11 years old, fifth grade, when I learned how to find the North Star. My French teacher, Ms. Brooks, chaperoned an overnight ski trip to Maine’s western mountains. She was young – mid-twenties my best guess, full of positive energy and ready to make a game of anything. To an 11 year-old she was the embodiment of adventure.
She took us on a night walk. The air was biting and the snow under foot crunched and squeaked a tune you hear only when the temperature nears single digits.
We reached a small clearing with a skating pond. Tall evergreens, dark black, framed an inky blue sky and a sea of starlight. The number and intensity of the stars was beyond anything I had ever seen.
Ms. Brooks pointed to the Big Dipper, then showed us how to find the North Star by following a line up through the two end stars of the Dipper’s ladle. She showed us other constellations too, but it was being able to find Polaris, the North Star, that left a lasting impression.
While I may never need to keep a ship on course through the night using the stars, knowing that I can find north without compass or GPS is reassuring and innately satisfying. It ties me in some small way to ancestors past who knew the night sky – knew its rhythms, patterns and mysteries and knew how to find their way home.
Next time the night sky is clear and you find yourself with a good view, take a look…better yet take a drive out to the country. Find a field. Take in the majesty and immensity above and look for the North Star, it’s always there; ready to serve as your guide.
Finding the North Star
To find the North Star in the night sky, first find the Big Dipper. Extend an imaginary line up through the Big Dippers’s two end stars of the ladle. This line will lead you to the North Star.
Where in the sky you’d see the North Star depends on your latitude. At the North Pole, you’d find the North Star directly overhead, in New England you’d find it about half-way up the night sky, while at the equator it would appear near the horizon. Below the equator, in the southern hemisphere, the North Star is not visible.
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