How To Find Ursa Major In The Sky
Ursa Major, also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation that can be seen during the whole the year in most places in the Northern Hemisphere. The constellation contains the asterism which is commonly known as the Big Dipper or the Plough. Ursa Major is located in the northern celestial hemisphere, extremely close to the North Pole. This constellation has seven stars positioned in such a way that they resemble a wagon or plough (hence the name). This OneHowTo article will explain how to find Ursa Major in the sky so that you can locate it on clear nights.
The first thing you need to take into account to find Ursa Major in the sky is that that Ursa Major is located in the northern celestial hemisphere.
This constellation is one of those that you can see revolving around the Northern Star as a result of planetary rotation on clear nights. This is why it is also known as a circumpolar constellation.
Therefore you will need to take the Northern Star as a reference, which is the brightest star in the sky.
The easiest way to find Ursa Major in the sky is to look for the so-called Plough (alternatively Big Dipper or Wagon), the set of stars with a distinctive plough shape, which are easy to recognize.
You should also note that its position in the sky will vary according to the season.
- In Summer you will be able to see this constellation in an L shape.
- In the Autumn, its position will be horizontal, with the shorter part facing upwards to the right.
- In Winter, you'll see it in the position on an inverted L, or rather a 7.
- In Spring, it will invert its position to that of Autumn, with the shorter part facing downwards to the left.
Once you have located the Dipper, you will be able to create the shape of the Ursa Major as the rest of the stars forming the constellation will sprout out of the stars forming a square, forming the legs of the Great Bear.
From there, you can also locate Ursa Minor and the North Star, because if you multiply by 5 the distance between the stars Dubhe and Merak, you can find the tail of Ursa Minor, or Little Bear, which is where the North Star can be found.
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- You will be able to see the Ursa Major on a clear night sky, preferably away from any artificial urban lighting and thus away from the city.
- You can also use a star chart to know where to find the constellation in different times of the year and at different times of night.