The North Star, or Polaris, is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, the little bear (also known as the Little Dipper). As viewed by observers in the Northern Hemisphere, Polaris occupies a special place. The point in the night sky where the projection of the earth's axis lies is known as the North Celestial Pole (NCP). As the earth rotates on its axis (once every 24 hours), the stars in the northern sky appear to revolve around the NCP. Polaris lies roughly one half degree from the NCP, so this particular star appears to remain stationary hour after hour and night after night.