What is a the big dipper?

The big dipper is a popular name for a group of seven stars that resemble the shape of a long-handed dipper in the sky.

When you look up at the stars, do you notice that some of the brighter ones seem to form patterns in the sky?

Group of Seven Stars

Perhaps the most familiar pattern of stars in the entire sky is the group of seven bright stars that form the Big Dipper.

The Big Dipper is only part of a constellation, or group of stars, called Ursa Major, or the Big Bear (the people of long ago saw the constellations of pictures of animals or people in the sky.  The names they gave the constellations tell us what pictures they saw).

Look north and see if you can find the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper.

The two stars in the bowl that are the farthest away from the handle are called the Pointers.  An imaginary line drawn through the Pointers with point to the North Star.  Once you have found the North, look for the Little Dipper.

The North Star is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper.  – Dick Rogers


1 Comment

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