Candle in the SkyRiddles are little poems or phrases that pose a question that needs answering. Riddles frequently rhyme, but this is not a requirement.
I'm not the brightest candle in the sky,
But my name is well known, and I am sought
By sailors and young schoolchildren, who eye
The others that show the way to me. Taught
To them when small by friends or fathers. Long
Centuries back, Plato saw another
In the place I now own; Kochab, my strong
Guardian, who is my dear bright brother,
Was once the light that mariners would hold.
Across dark waters, he showed them the way,
A small bear's child, who was by then grown bold,
Till I rose on the stage, my part to play.
Dear Reader, I have told you of my fame;
Will you be able, now, to guess my name?
AnswerPolaris, the North Star
The North Star can easily be located by finding the Big Dipper. The two stars at the front of the Dipper's bowl point to the North Star. Polaris is one of the stars in the constellation Ursa Minor, the Small Bear or the Little Dipper. The two stars in front of the dipper's bowl are called the "Guardians of the Pole", because they seem to march around the North Star like guards. Polaris, not the brightest star in the sky, ranks 49th in brightness. As the centuries pass, the celestial pole shifts in the sky, and other stars have become the North Star at varying times. Kochab, one of the two present Guardians, was the North Star at the time of Plato, around 400 BC.
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