How the "North Star" works

Category: Nature


Photo and caption by Neil Ticktin

This picture was taken with approximately a 20 minute exposure at 10pm at night. The softness of the water coming over Upper Yosemite Falls is beautiful enough as is, but in addition, this picture is awesome for teaching why Polaris (aka the North Star) has the characteristics it does. Take note of Polaris right over the falls with all the other stars rotating around it. This is due to the Earth's axis pointing at Polaris as the planet rotates. As an added bonus for the photographer, this picture was taken while instructing about 10 teenagers in night photography.

Location: Yosemite National Park


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