Using constellations
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Using Constellations. Find the Big Dipper. Easy!. Find the big dipper now?. Still easy?. Can you spot Polaris?. Is this it?. ??. Polaris is NOT a bright star. NOPE!. Why Big Dipper?. It is fairly easy to recognize

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Using Constellations

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Using Constellations


Find the Big Dipper


Easy!


Find the big dipper now?


Still easy?


Can you spot Polaris?


Is this it?

??


Polaris is NOT a bright star...

NOPE!


Why Big Dipper?

  • It is fairly easy to recognize

  • It is seen year round in the northern hemisphere – just look to the north!

  • Astronomers and navigators have been using it to guide the night skies for a long time

  • It also helps us locate Polaris


What so special about Polaris?

  • Our Pole Star

  • It is directly above our North Pole

  • All stars seem to “go around” Polaris


View of the Stars


Let’s Find Polaris on your map!


Start with Ursa Major


Find the Big Dipper


The Big Dipper is part of Ursa Major


Find the “lip” of the Big Dipper

LIP!


It points you to Polaris

About 5 times the length of the lip


Easy!

POLARIS!


Polaris is the brightest star in Ursa Minor

Ursa Minor

Polaris

Big Dipper


Finding Sirius

Sirius is the BRIGHTEST star in the night sky!


Finding the Andromeda Galaxy


Using Constellations

  • We use constellations to help guide us in the night sky

  • Do you think astronomers need constellations to find their way in the night sky?

  • What do modern astronomers use constellations for? Is there even a need?


Asterisms

  • The Big Dipper is not an official constellation, but rather an asterism.

  • It is a pattern of (usually the brightest) stars that is easily recognized in the night sky.

  • It is NOT a smaller pattern within a constellation as our textbook suggests.

  • Some other examples:

    • Orion’s Belt

    • The “W”

    • Summer Triangle

    • Winter Triangle

    • Fish Hook (Scorpious)


Find the Big Dipper


Orion’s Belt


Summer Triangle


Winter Triangle


“W” of Cassiopeia


Fish Hook (Scorpio)


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