By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

New North Star

New North Star

Absolute Years From Now: 13000
Story Reference Date: 03/28/2024
520 Generations From Now

Right now Polaris is our North Star. In 13,000 years it will be Vega. The Earth spins as it revolves around the Sun, but the North Pole is always pointing toward the North Star, Polaris. The Earth spins and only wobbles a tiny bit over millennia as it revolves around the Sun, and our Sun revolves around a pretty flat Milky Way galaxy. Our solar system, like a thrown frisbee, stays pretty flat in space. The wobble described above is called the axial precession in scientific terms. That’s the North Pole moving in a small circle when compared to the sky. This axial tilt causes the celestial poles to align closely with specific stars, for now, Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere. The Earth’s wobble, or axial precession, is slow, about 26,000 years per wobble cycle. At about 13,000 years through the cycle, the Northern Star will be Vega, not Polaris.

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