Big Dipper Points to North Star

Big Dipper Points To North Star in Little Dipper

Look north to find the Big Dipper and follow its pointer stars to find the North Star and the Little Dipper.  This view is mid-March about 8:00 pm.

Big Dipper

An asterism is a group of stars within a constellation that resemble a familiar shape.  The Big Dipper is an asterism within the constellation Ursa Major.  Finding the entire constellation Ursa Major may be difficult, but finding the dipper shape within Ursa Major is easy.  Looking north, find seven bright stars resembling a ladle or scoop — that’s the dipper.  Two stars at the tip of the dipper cup point to the North Star, Polaris.  Polaris is the star at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. .

Little Dipper

The Little Dipper is an asterism within the constellation Ursa Minor.  Since the seven stars of the Little Dipper are not as bright, use the Big Dipper’s pointer stars to find the North Star, then follow the dipper handle around to the dipper cup.

Big Dipper Points to North Star

Posted in Night Sky, Space Scouts