Big Dipper – A Constellation to Guide You Through the Northern Sky


The shape of the Big Dipper constellation is one that is easily discernible to the naked eye. The exception to this is that the seven stars that make up the dippers, both large and tiny, are not technically considered to be a constellation.

Astronomers look to particular regions of the sky known as constellations for assistance in locating celestial objects of interest. They get their names from the figures and forms that they symbolise, but they typically cover a larger area than the individual stars that make up those figures.

In reality, the dippers are asterisms, which are pictures included within larger constellations. The constellation known as the Little Dipper is made up of stars that are a part of the constellation known as Ursa Minor, also known as the lesser or little bear. The Big Dipper constellation is made up of stars that are a part of the constellation known as Ursa Major, also known as the great or big bear.

How The Big Dipper Constellation Guides Your Way

Declination: 50 degrees

Visible between latitudes 90 and -30 degrees

Best seen in April (at 9:00 PM)

DUBHE is one of the Named Stars (Alpha UMa) MERAK (Beta UMa) PHAD (Gamma UMa) MEGREZ (Delta UMa) ALIOTH (Epsilon UMa) MIZAR (Zeta UMa) ALCOR (80 UMa)

Once you have located and recognised the Big Dipper, you will be able to utilise it to locate a great deal of other stars and constellations.

Imagine a line rising away from the Big Dipper, beginning at its front, and continuing on until it disappears. Following this path will lead you to Polaris, often known as the north star. In addition to this, the Little Dipper’s handle ends with Polaris as its final star.

After passing Polaris, you will arrive at the W-shaped Cassiopeia constellation if you continue travelling in the same direction.

Continuing on your journey will lead you to the Great Square of Pegasus, which is located in the constellation of Pegasus. You can find the Andromeda constellation if you travel to the edge of the Pegasus constellation.

“Arc to Arcturus and Speed to Spica.”

If you follow the curve of the handle of the Big Dipper, you will “arc to Arcturus,” which is a bright star in the Bootes constellation. If you continue on the same curve, you will “speed to Spica,” which is in the constellation Virgo. If the Big Dipper has not yet descended below the horizon, you will arrive at “speed to Spica.” The two stars that are located at the back of the bowl also function as guides. Deneb, the end of the swan’s tail in the constellation Cygnus, can be reached by going upward from the top of the back stars.

In the opposite direction, travelling downward from the bowl of the Big Dipper will bring you to Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, also known as the Lion.

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