Thuban

noun

Thu·​ban thü-ˈbän How to pronounce Thuban (audio)
astronomy
: a white giant star of the fourth magnitude that is visible in the constellation Draco
Engineers had determined that these standing stones predict solar and lunar events as well as the position of Thuban, the polestar in ancient Phoenician times. Karen Wright, Discover, February 1998

called also Alpha Draconis

Note: From about 4000 BC through 1800 BC, Thuban was the star closest to the north celestial pole. It was used (instead of Polaris) as the polestar during that time. The movement of the earth has caused it to drift away, but in another 20,000 years, it will once again qualify as the "North Star."

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Word History

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Thuban was in 1855

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Cite this Entry

“Thuban.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Thuban. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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