Hasinger and his colleagues studied a different set of deep-space images, centered on the north ecliptic pole
In addition, the atlas includes measurements of 599 Cepheid stars (43 newly discovered) and 2,595 RR Lyrae stars (343 new) around the south ecliptic pole
The ecliptic is the Sun's apparent yearly path through the constellations of the zodiac, and the north ecliptic pole
pierces the dome of the sky 90[degrees] north of the ecliptic.
If you were to look down on the solar system from the north ecliptic pole
in Draco, you'd see the major planets circling the Sun counterclockwise.
Uranus's "north star" happens to be Eta ([eta]) Ophiuchi, which is about 82[degrees] from the north ecliptic pole
on the sky.
Very close to the north ecliptic pole
is NGC 6543, the famous Cat's Eye Nebula, a good object for amateur telescopes and quite spectacular in images returned from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Because it is bright and located within 15[degree sign] of the south ecliptic pole
, it is a handy navigational reference for astronauts and space probes.
Hence we see the north celestial pole, which is currently located close to Polaris, swing across the stars in a wide loop around the north ecliptic pole
every 26,000 years.
These coordinates are related to the ecliptic and the north ecliptic pole
(the solar system's north pole).
Just off the line from Zeta to Delta ([Delta]) Draconis is the north ecliptic pole
, marked quite accurately by the object on the cover of our April issue: the 9th-magnitude planetary nebula NGC 6543, known as the Cat's Eye Nebula.
So the untiring dragon that once protected the apples of paradise now vigilantly embraces the north ecliptic pole
and keeps it from migrating.
But there is another, far more enduring pole encoiled even more tightly by the pattern of Draco: the north ecliptic pole
, the north pole of Earth's orbit around the Sun and nearly of the solar system as a whole.