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Polaris, designated α Ursae Minoris the North Star or Pole Star, is the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor. It is close to the north celestial pole, making it the current northern pole star; the revised Hipparcos parallax gives a distance to Polaris of about 433 light-years, while calculations by other methods derive distances around 30% closer. Polaris is a triple star system, composed of the primary star, Polaris Aa, in orbit with a smaller companion. There were once thought to be two more distant components—Polaris C and Polaris D—but these have been shown not to be physically associated with the Polaris system. Polaris Aa is a 5.4 solar mass F7 yellow supergiant of spectral type Ib. It is the first classical Cepheid to have a mass determined from its orbit; the two smaller companions are Polaris B, a 1.39 M☉ F3 main-sequence star orbiting at a distance of 2400 astronomical units, Polaris Ab, a close F6 main-sequence star with a mass of 1.26 M☉. Polaris B can be seen with a modest telescope.

William Herschel discovered the star in August 1779 using a reflecting telescope of his own, one of the best telescopes of the time. By examining the spectrum of Polaris A, it was discovered in 1929 that it was a close binary, with the secondary being a dwarf, theorized in earlier observations. In January 2006, NASA released images, from the Hubble telescope, that showed the three members of the Polaris ternary system. Polaris Aa, the supergiant primary component, is a low-amplitude Population I classical Cepheid variable, although it was once thought to be a type II Cepheid due to its high galactic latitude. Cepheids constitute an important standard candle for determining distance, so Polaris, as the closest such star, is studied; the variability of Polaris had been suspected since 1852. The range of brightness of Polaris during its pulsations is given as 1.86–2.13, but the amplitude has changed since discovery. Prior to 1963, the amplitude was over 0.1 magnitude and was gradually decreasing.

After 1966 it rapidly decreased until it was less than 0.05 magnitude. It has been reported that the amplitude is now increasing again, a reversal not seen in any other Cepheid; the period 4 days, has changed over time. It has increased by around 4.5 seconds per year except for a hiatus in 1963–1965. This was thought to be due to secular redward evolution across the Cepheid instability strip, but it may be due to interference between the primary and the first-overtone pulsation modes. Authors disagree on whether Polaris is a fundamental or first-overtone pulsator and on whether it is crossing the instability strip for the first time or not; the temperature of Polaris varies by only a small amount during its pulsations, but the amount of this variation is variable and unpredictable. The erratic changes of temperature and the amplitude of temperature changes during each cycle, from less than 50 K to at least 170 K, may be related to the orbit with Polaris Ab. Research reported in Science suggests that Polaris is 2.5 times brighter today than when Ptolemy observed it, changing from third to second magnitude.

Astronomer Edward Guinan considers this to be a remarkable change and is on record as saying that "if they are real, these changes are 100 times larger than predicted by current theories of stellar evolution". Because Polaris lies nearly in a direct line with the Earth's rotational axis "above" the North Pole—the north celestial pole—Polaris stands motionless in the sky, all the stars of the northern sky appear to rotate around it. Therefore, it makes an excellent fixed point from which to draw measurements for celestial navigation and for astrometry; the moving of Polaris towards and, in the future, away from the celestial pole, is due to the precession of the equinoxes. The celestial pole will move away from α UMi after the 21st century, passing close by Gamma Cephei by about the 41st century, moving towards Deneb by about the 91st century; the celestial pole was close to Thuban around 2750 BC, during classical antiquity it was closer to Kochab than to Polaris. It was about the same angular distance from β UMi.

The Greek navigator Pytheas in ca. 320 BC described the celestial pole as devoid of stars. However, as one of the brighter stars close to the celestial pole, Polaris was used for navigation at least from late antiquity, described as ἀεί φανής "always visible" by Stobaeus, it could reasonably be described as stella polaris from about the High Middle Ages. In Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, written around 1599, Caesar describes himself as being "as constant as the northern star", though in Caesar's time there was no constant northern star. Polaris was referenced in Nathaniel Bowditch's 1802 book, American Practical Navigator, where it is listed as one of the navigational stars. Twice in each sidereal day Polaris' azimuth is true north; the best approximation was made using the leading edge of the "Big Dipper" asterism in the constellation Ursa Major. The leading edge was referenced to a clock face, the true azimuth of Polaris worked out for different latitudes; the modern name Polaris is shortened from New Lati

Pongara National Park

Pongara National Park is a national park in Gabon near the capital Libreville, on the south side of the Gabon Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of 929 km²; the national park is composed chiefly of mangrove forests. Pongara National Park lies on the southern side of the Gabon Estuary and covers an area of 96,302 hectares; the site is forested and contains a range of habitats including mangrove forest, swamp forest, riverine forest and seasonally-inundated forest. There is a long strip of sandy beach area and some grassy savanna. Several rivers flow through the park into the estuary, including the River Remboué, the River Igombiné and the River Gomgoué; the mangrove forests are dominated by Avicennia and Rhizophora species, these and the golden leather fern help stabilise the habitat and slow down water flow. People have been living here since at least the Neolithic era and gather timber, grow cassava and banana, hunt and fish. Elephants, monkeys, buffaloes and chimpanzees are present in the rainforest, Hawksbill sea turtles, green sea turtles and olive ridley sea turtle visit the estuary and the beaches are used by leatherback sea turtles for breeding.

A local conservation organisation monitors the female leatherback turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs, tags them, guards the nests, operates a turtle hatchery and provides ecological education for the local populace. Many migratory birds visit up to 10,000 waders overwinter there. Virtual Tour of the National Parks

RK Sutjeska Nikšić

Rukometni klub Sutjeska is a Montenegrin handball club from Nikšić. RK Sutjeska is former Cup winner of Montenegro. RK Sutjeska was formed at 1949, during the decades played in the Montenegrin Republic League, in the Second Yugoslav League. Biggest successes, Sutjeska made after the Montenegrin independence, when they became a members of the First League. At their first season in that competition, Sutjeska won the third place, with first placement to the European cups. A year Sutjeska made their historical result - winning the Cup of Montenegro in Danilovgrad; until 2014, together with Lovćen Cetinje, Sutjeska was the only club which competed in every season of the Montenegrin First League. But, before the 2014/15 season, the club withdrew from the First League, because of financial difficulties. Winner of the Montenegrin Cup 2008. "The Dukes" is the popular name for the most ardent Sutjeska fans. They have been established as an NGO in 1988 in Nikšić and today constitute one of the most numerous groups of supporters in Montenegro.

They traditionally follow all the matches of all sports that compete under the “Sutjeska” name, both home and away matches. The biggest Sutjeska rival is RK Budućnost Podgorica, as the "Barbarians" are the other large group of supporters in the country. RK Sutjeska played in the Montenegrin First League during the seasons 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14. Except Lovćen, a permanent member of the Regional SEHA League, Sutjeska is the only other Montenegrin club which participated in that competition. Sutjeska played in the SEHA league 2011/12 and finished the season at the 10 od 12 places of the table. In that season, Sutjeska played against CO Zagreb, Tatran Prešov, Vardar Skopje, Metalurg Skopje, Nexe Našice, Lovćen Cetinje, Borac Banja Luka, Metaloplastika Šabac, Izviđač Ljubuški, Bosna Sarajevo and Crvena zvezda Beograd. Sutjeska played five seasons in the EHF European competitions: 2007/08 - EHF Cup 2008/09 - EHF Cup Winners' Cup 2009/10 - EHF Cup 2011/12 - EHF Cup 2012/13 - EHF Challenge Cup Alen Muratović Goran Đukanović Marko Lasica

Plaza de Puente Alto metro station

Plaza de Puente Alto is an underground metro station and the southern terminal station of Line 4 of the Santiago Metro network, in Santiago, Chile. The station is located under the square of the same name, Plaza de Puente Alto, parallel to Concha y Toro Avenue at the junction with Manuel Rodríguez avenue in the commune of Puente Alto; the station was opened to the public on November 30, 2005. The station's surroundings are dominated by municipal buildings like the civil registry office of Puente Alto, the Provincia Cordillera building, the old municipality building. There is a active community of independent retail stores along with department stores that opened after the arrival of the metro station. In Plaza de Puente Alto square there is a statue of a Chilean independentist hero; the station and square are a popular pick-up and connection point for taxis, share taxis, buses that go to different parts of south Santiago and throughout Cordillera Province, of which Puente Alto is the capital.

Puente Alto is one of the most densely populated communes in the country, one of the reasons for the construction of the metro line and Plaza de Puente Alto metro station. In recent years, Puente Alto has had one of the fastest growing real estate sectors of all the Chilean communes, seeing 20% of total Santiago real estate sales; this rise is due to the construction of houses for middle-class sectors influenced by the extension of the metro network into this part of the city. The station's name comes from the Puente Alto center square. Metro de Santiago Ilustre Municipalidad de Puente Alto web Portal de Comunicaciones y Servicios de la provincia Cordillera web


Bygrave is a village and civil parish in the North Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, about 2 miles north-east of Baldock. In the 10th century the parish was called Bigraffan and 11th to 16th centuries Bigrave. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 271. A reservoir is situated behind the Old Rectory and used for irrigation of potato crops by Manor Farm; the village stands on a clay-capped hill, a defensive position where the original settlement was surrounded by moats built in 1386 which can still be seen today. From these defences, the whole parish bounded by Icknield Way, the Great North Road, the Cat Ditch and a ridge to the north would have been visible; the village church is St Margaret's and is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch, while the site on which it stands dates from at least Saxon times with two phases of Saxon construction from 8th-10th centuries. Some Romano-British pottery, pre-dating the present church by several centuries was found under the north nave wall indicating a much earlier settlement on this site.

This church has carvings of the ancient game of Nine Men Morris on the frames of the chancel windows. There are wall paintings. A notable rector here was George Coke; the Church is open at weekends only and the key is available from the churchwardens. The peaceful lane leading to the church was once the centre of a busy village and known as the Market Place and flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries. There was a 3-day annual fair beginning at the feast of St Margaret; the date was survived until Victorian days. The Manor Farm has contributed much to the life of this village, from when most people living there were employed on the farm, to the present day. Sheep are still grazed on the Common. There is a tiny airfield used for microlight aircraft. Bygrave Croquet Club is based at The Moat House; the club is affiliated to the Croquet Association and is a member of the East Anglia Croquet Federation. The club has five Garden Croquet lawns and meets weekly on Fridays. Members play Association Croquet and are active in Regional and National competitions.

The Bygrave Handbell Ringers were formed in 1999 with the idea of ringing in the millennium. The team meets every week at The Moat House, they give many public performances in the community each year including the Carol Service at St Margaret's Church on Christmas Eve. Their strangest concert was in the Baldock Bypass tunnel before it was opened to traffic in 2006. Bygrave Croquet Club Web Site Bygrave Handbell Ringers Web Site Media related to Bygrave at Wikimedia Commons

Philipp Bobkov

Filipp Denisovich Bobkov was a Russian KGB functionary, who worked as the chief of the KGB subunit responsible for repressing dissent, responsible for suppression of internal dissent in the former Soviet Union. He was regarded the chief KGB ideologist or "KGB brain". Bobkov began his career in the Soviet secret services in 1945, when they were guided by Lavrentiy Beria, survived Beria and eleven subsequent secret police chairmen. During the 1970s-1980s he "effectively became the KGB's real chairmn, although he held the post of first deputy". Bobkov was instrumental in creation of KGB-controlled political organizations, such as the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public established in 1983, he invented Liberal Democratic Party of Russia according to Soviet Politburo member Alexander Yakovlev. However Bobkov said that he did not support the creation of this "Zubatov-style pseudo-party under KGB control that directs interests and sentiments of certain social groups"; as described in his official biography, Bobkov was engaged in resolving ethnic conflicts in the Soviet Union, including Sumgait pogrom, Events in Vilnius, 1989 pogroms in the Fergana valley in Uzbekistan, Almaty revolt in 1986, January 1991 events in Latvia, many others.

According to Bobkov, perestroika had been invented by him and his KGB colleagues: "We in the KGB contributed quite a bit to the process of perestroika because... without it the Soviet Union could not move ahead."Documents discovered by political scientist Robert van Voren in the Stasi archives show that in summer 1989 Bobkov came to Berlin and told Stasi Director Erich Mielke that German reunification was the work of mentally ill persons. Bobkov supervised the transfer of Communist Party money to foreign banks prior to the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt. In October 1990, Bobkov ordered the creation of commercial firms and banks, which were managed by KGB officers and their "trusted contacts"; the project was funded by KGB and Party money, "which made up 80 % of the amount invested in the new banks, stock exchanges, businesses in 1990-1991", according to a testimony of Richard Palmer in US Congress about infiltration of the Western financial system. Nikolay Kruchina, a high ranking CPSU official, responsible for supervising the Communist Party money, fell to his death from the window of his luxury apartment in Moscow soon after the events.

Bobkov retired in 1991 and organized a private security service in the Media Most company, which included thousands of his former KGB colleagues. The entire archive of 5th KGB Main Directorate was taken to Media-Most; this security service organized an attempted assassination of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky in 1994. He worked as a personal security adviser of Russian Parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, his official biography Philipp Bobkov "A guest at Dmitry Gordon", 2013, 61 min on YouTube