The History Of Man In A Circle Among The Stars

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Practically at the centre of that whirlwind drawn by the movement of the celestial vault is the most famous of all the stars, the North Star, or Polaris, as it is also called in Latin starting from the 18th century.
And it is because of this peculiarity that Polaris has become the symbol of the cardinal point par excellence, that of the North direction;
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The men of our time have lived or live in a world where since they were born there has existed only one "polar star", the one that identifies the end of the tail of the Lesser Bear and which in Latin is called Alpha Ursae Minoris. But it has not always been so. The Earth's axis of rotation, in fact, while maintaining the same inclination to the ecliptic, does not always point in the same direction, but like a spinning top that cannot keep vertical, and begins to oscillate slowly describing with its axis an inverted cone, so the Earth's axis during a cycle almost 26,000 years long draws in the sky a circle of radius equal to the angle of inclination, or 23.5°. This circle crosses the circumpolar constellation, bringing ever-changing stars closer in time.
It is therefore only by pure chance that in this historical period it is the Alpha Ursa Minoris star that is prospectively very close to the celestial Pole. In fact, it was only from the end of the 12th century that Alpha Ursae Minoris began to be referred to as the "polar star"... polar star.
This astronomical curiosity, which in astronomy is called "Precession of the equinoxes", can allow us to establish a parallel between what was happening in the sky and what was happening on Earth in the last 26,000 years, and to relate the alternation of the different "polar stars" with human events.

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