Blog Post 11: Vega Will Be Earth’s North Star in 12,000 Years

Vega is just 25 light years away from earth and is visible in the Northern Hemisphere. Since Earth axis wobbles, north will shift to different stars over a 26,000 year cycle. Polaris’ time is almost halfway up and will not be the north star in 12,000 years. Vega was Earth’s North Star previously and now will be the next star that our axis will point to. From mid-northern latitudes like New York, Madrid, etc, Vega can now be seen on any night of the year because it only goes below the horizon for 7 hours a day. In Alaska, Northern Canada, and Europe, Vega never sets. This will still be the case in 12,00 years when it is the North Star and allude movement that the rest of the stars will because of Earth’s rotation. Vega was actually the first star to be photographed other than the sun. This happened at the Harvard Observatory in 1850! Not to mention, it was also chosen for the first spetrographic image in 1872. There are many cool things to learn about Vega. It will be a pretty significant star very soon in terms of the rate of the universe. I think that this is so cool that we know exactly what people in 12,000 years will learn about when learning about the north star in astronomy class (if Earth still exists/if people still exist). I also think its so interesting that we can find so much information on one spot in the sky, it shows how far technology has come and I wonder how far it will be in a few thousand years when Vega is that much closer to being Earth’s North Star again!

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