- The first step in finding the big dipper is location and time. The best time to look for the big dipper is between March to June around 10 p.m. in a place with a minimal amount of clouds. The best location to find this profound constellation is in a dark place preferably quiet with no major light sources on flat land with no trees, houses, or tall objects.
- The second step to finding the big dipper is to find which direction to look in. The way you should look is north using a magnetic compass or a map. You should look up around 60 degrees to find it Tip: In summer the big dipper will be close to the horizon.
- The third step is to be conscious of what season it is and how it can affect where you will find it. In Summer and Spring, it will be higher in the sky but in Winter and Fall, you’ll find it lower towards the horizon.
- The fourth and final step is locating the big dipper. The big dipper looks like a ladle. The bowl part of the Big Dipper is made up of 4 stars while the handle is made of 3 stars, overall the constellation is made up of 7 stars. If you can find the north star then finding the Big Dipper will be a piece of cake. The north star should be a little brighter than other stars, so if you look up about 1/3 of the way from the horizon and look for a bright start that stands out a bit more than others (but don’t look for the brightest because Polaris is not the brightest star). Otherwise, you could use a mobile app to help you locate the north star otherwise known as Polaris. Once you have located the north star, look directly down and you’ll run into 2 stars that are the stars at the end of the bowl. Then look to the left a little you will find the glorious Big Dipper.
- The Big Dipper is part of a constellation called the Ursa Major that look like a bear. The big dipper appears as tail for the Ursa Major (The Great Bear) constellation.
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