The North Star changes every 26,000 years. (Space) Earth’s axis goes through a process known as precession — a change in the orientation of a rotating body’s rotational axis. Because of that, our perception of the north gradually shifts to different stars over a 26,000-year cycle. Our ancestors began understanding astronomy millennia ago and used the North Star for navigation. Several thousand years ago, Vega was the North Star, and it will gain that status again in around 12,000 years. However, in 26,000 years, Polaris will return to its original position as the Earth’s polar star.