Unfortunately, I'm not any good at figuring these things out myself so hope for help here. If the (true) north pole were over the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan, what would the North Star be; a star, similar to Polaris that never sets? Or, what star would be directly overhead? I couldn't even pick out Venus or Mars in the night sky when I was younger and now, for personal reasons, I'm unable to go out and look. Any help would be incredibly appreciated. Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ Your question is not clear to me. Polaris is called the pole star because the axis of rotation of the earth points very close to its direction. The star directly above you depends on the time. As earth spins in space the stars appear to move, so different stars appear to be above you at different times. These also change according to the seasons, as the earth moves around the sun. $\endgroup$
    – andy256
    May 26, 2015 at 3:10
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    $\begingroup$ Your answer isn't clear to me. I understand about the axis of rotation and so on. What if the axis of rotation changed, say, on 8/4/2017, making the UP of Michigan the North Pole. Were that to happen and the physical position of the Earth did NOT change; only the axis of rotation, how would I figure out what the new pole star would be? I'm not asking anyone to do the work for me. I'm asking how to figure it out. I want to do the research myself. However, should I be unable to, I am quite willing to give the person credit for the information I receive. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Dayna3365
    May 26, 2015 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


It would depend on what time the Earth started to spin around Michigan. There is no way to answer this without saying what time, time of year, and which century (or at least millennium) it happens.

Edit: Hi Dayna. Thanks for the the time of year the Keweenaw Peninsula becomes the North Pole. One could be omniscient except for that and not know this. But we also still haven't ruled out a single star since your OP. With the time though we could tell you exactly what star. The decade is not important. What century or part of history it happens, yes but not the decade. (yes, astronomy is weird).

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    $\begingroup$ The UP being at about 47° latitude, your new north star would be some star currently in the ring at 47° declination. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2015 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Are all of you saying that there is no star over the UP of Michigan like there is over the North Pole? Let's say something changed on 8/4/2017 causing the UP to become the physical north pole with no physical change to the Earth, only the axis changing, etc. That's the question I'm asking. What star would always be in the sky over the UP like Polaris is always over the North Pole. Since Polaris is always over the North Pole for usually around 5000 years, I have difficulty understanding why one wouldn't be over every other area in the world within the same guidelines. Does the extra info help? $\endgroup$
    – Dayna3365
    May 26, 2015 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ All locations on earth except the north and south pole get star trails. Which star i directly overhead depends on the time of day. apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100711.html Click on the image to get the uncompressed view. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2015 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate the extra help, Stranger. I don't think I'm asking the question correctly, though. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Dayna3365
    May 26, 2015 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ user6784: I still don't know the exact answer, but appreciate the information. I have accepted your answer with regards to my edit (and yours) Thanks much. (and, yes, astronomy is very confusing to me--love science, just not this part of it!) $\endgroup$
    – Dayna3365
    May 27, 2015 at 18:08

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