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Stars through the night

The stars rise in the east, move across the sky and set in the west. The following night at the same time then the stars will have returned to more or less the same position as they were the night before.

Some stars never set these are called circumpolar stars and the constellations which they are in are called circumpolar constellations. The constellation Ursa Major (the Plough) is a circumpolar constellation. You can always see it (from the Northern Hemisphere).

Remember that the stars are not really moving. It is the rotation of the Earth from west to east that makes them look as if they are travelling from east to west during the night.

© Keith Gibbs 2009