Star Wheel of Northern Circumpolar Stars

Version (20.4 KB) by Meg Noah
Create a circumpolar constellation star wheel for the Northern Hemisphere


Updated 30 Dec 2017

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For midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, the constellations Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Camelepardolis, Casseopia, and Cepheus are designated as circumpolar, because most of their stars are always above the horizon.
Introductory astronomy books categorize them as 'never set' stars. This script produces two wheels which can be combined with a brass brad to produce a planisphere for observing the constellations around Polaris. It is a stepping-stone for beginners, to learn to match these constellation patterns with a subset of the entire sky. Identifying the circumpolar constellations is a good activity for K12, community college, astronomy clubs, and other outreach.
Hope you enjoy this activity.
Note: The data for creating these graphis are in the script, so no additional files are needed. The source of the star and constellation data is: Dan Bruton,SFA Observatory,,
A related script, for making a Star Clock, is shared here

Cite As

Meg Noah (2023). Star Wheel of Northern Circumpolar Stars (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2014b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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